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HISTORY  OF  THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH 


HISTORY  OF  THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH 
By  PHILIP  SCHAFF,  D.D.,  LL.D. 

Vol.     1.  Ap«toI,cari.danity,A.D  MOO.  Sro.HOO 

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WlCLIF 


HISTORY 

OF  TH'E 

CHRISTIAN  CHURCH 

BY 

PHILIP   SCHAFF 

Christianus  sum.     Christiani  nihil  a  me  alienum  puto 
VOLUME  V.     PART  II 

THE    MIDDLE    AGES 

FROM  BONIFACE  VIII.,  1294,  TO  THE  PROTESTANT 
REFORMATION,  1517 

BY 
DAVID   S.    SCHAFF,   D.D. 

PROFESSOR  OF  CHURCH  HISTORY  IN  THE  WESTERN 
THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY,  FITTSBURO 


NEW  YORK 
CHARLES   SCRIBNER'S   SONS 

1910 


COPYRIGHT,  1910,  BY 

CHARLES  SCRIBNER'S  SONS 


PUBLISHED  MARCH,  1910 


RECTOR  AND  THEOLOGICAL  FACULTY 

OF  THE 

UNIVERSITY  OF  GENEVA 

FOUNDED   BY 

JOHN  CALVIN 

AND  ADMINISTERED  BY 

THEODORE  DE  BfcZE 

AS  ITS  FIRST   RECTOR 
NOMINA  PRAECLARA 

IN    GRATEFUL  ACKNOWLEDGMENT    OF   THE  DEGREE  OF  DOCTOR 

OF  DIVINITY  CONFERRED   UPON   THE   AUTHOR  AT  THE  THREE 

HUNDRED  AND  FIFTIETH   ANNIVERSARY  OF  THIS   DISTIN- 

GIJ8HED  SEAT  OF  LEARNING,   JULY  7-10,    1909,   AND 

IN  THE   HOPE  OF  A  YET  FULLER  REALIZATION 

OF  THE   VENERABLE  GENEVAN  MOTTO 

POST  TE^JSBRAS  LUX 


PREFACE 

THIS  volume  completes  the  history  of  the  Church  in  the  Middle  Ages. 
])r.  Philip  Schaff  on  one  occasion  spoke  of  the  Middle  Ages  as  a  terra 
incognita  in  the  United  States, — a  territory  not  adequately  explored. 
These  words  would  no  longer  be  applicable,  whether  we  have  in  mind 
the  instruction  given  in  our  universities  or  theological  seminaries.  In 
Germany,  during  the  last  twenty  years,  the  study  of  the  period  has  been 
greatly  developed,  and  no  period  at  the  present  time,  except  the  Apostolic 
age,  attracts  more  scholarly  and  earnest  attention  and  research. 

The  author  has  had  no  apologetic  concern  to  contradict  the  old  notion, 
perhaps  still  somewhat  current  in  our  Protestant  circles,  that  the  Middle 
Ages  were  a  period  of  superstition  and  worthy  of  study  as  a  curiosity 
rather  than  as  a  time  directed  and  overruled  by  an  all-seeing  Providence. 
lie  has  attempted  to  depict  it  as  it  was  and  to  allow  the  picture  of  high 
religious  purpose  to  reveal  itself  side  by  side  with  the  picture  of  hie- 
rarchical assumption  and  scholastic  misinterpretation.  Without  the 
mediaeval  age,  the  Reformation  would  not  have  been  possible.  Nor  is 
this  statement  to  be  understood  in  the  sense  in  which  we  speak  of  reach- 
ing a  land  of  sunshine  and  plenty  after  having  traversed  a  desert.  We 
do  well  to  give  to  St.  Bernard  and  Francis  d'Assisi,  St.  Elizabeth 
and  St.  Catherine  of  Siena,  Gerson,  Tauler  and  Nicolas  of  Cusa  a 
high  place  in  our  list  of  religious  personalities,  and  to  pray  for  men 
to  speak  to  our  generation  as  well  as  they  spoke  to  the  generations  in 
which  they  lived. 

Moreover,  the  author  has  been  actuated  by  no  purpose  to  disparage 
Christians  who,  in  the  alleged  errors  of  Protestantism,  find  an  insuper- 
able barrier  to  Christian  fellowship.  Where  he  has  passed  condemnatory 
judgments  on  personalities,  as  on  the  popes  of  the  last  years  of  the  15th 
and  the  earlier  years  of  the  16th  century,  it  is  not  because  they  occupied 
the  papal  throne,  but  because  they  were  personalities  who  in  any  walk  of 
life  would  call  for  the  severest  reprobation.  The  unity  of  the  Christian 
faith  and  the  promotion  of  fellowship  between  Christians  of  all  names 
and  all  ages  are  considerations  which  should  make  us  careful  with  pen  or 
spoken  word  lest  we  condemn,  without  properly  taking  into  consideration 
that  interior  devotion  to  Christ  and  His  kingdom  which  seems  to  be 
quite  compatible  with  divergencies  in  doctrinal  statement  or  ceremonial 
habit. 


Vlll  PREFACE 

On  the  pages  of  the  volume,  the  author  has  expressed  his  indebtedness 
to  the  works  of  the  eminent  mediaeval  historians  and  investigators  of  the 
<ky»  Gregorovius,  Pastor,  Mandell  Creighton,  Lea,  Ehrle,  Denifle,  Finke, 
Schwab,  Haller,  Carl  Mirbt,  K.  Muller,  Kirsch,  Loserth,  Janssen,  Valois, 
Burckhardt-Geiger,  Seebohm  and  others,  Protestant  and  Roman  Catholic, 
and  some  no  more  among  the  living. 

It  is  a  pleasure  to  be  able  again  to  express  his  indebtedness  to  the 
Rev.  David  E.  Culley,  his  colleague  in  the  Western  Theological  Sem- 
inary, whose  studies  in  mediaeval  history  and  accurate  scholarship  have 
been  given  to  the  volume  in  the  reading  of  the  manuscript,  before  it  went 
to  the  printer,  and  of  the  printed  pages  before  they  received  their  final 
form. 

Above  all,  the  author  feels  it  to  be  a  great  privilege  that  he  has  been 
able  to  realize  the  hope  which  Dr.  Philip  Schaff  expressed  in  the  last 
years  of  his  life,  that  his  History  of  the  Christian  Church  which,  in  four 
volumes,  had  traversed  the  first  ten  centuries  and,  in  the  sixth  and 
seventh,  set  forth  the  progress  of  the  German  and  Swiss  Reformations, 
might  be  carried  through  the  fruitful  period  from  1050-1517. 

DAVID  S.   SCHAFF. 
THE  WESTERN  THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY, 

PlTTBBURQ. 


CONTENTS. 


FROM  BONIFACE  VIII.  TO  MARTIN  LUTHER.    A.D.  1294-1517. 

Tin  SIXTH  PERIOD  OF  CHURCH  HISTORY. 

PAOB 

§  1.  INTRODUCTORY  SURVEY         ........  1 

CHAPTER   I.    THE  DECLINE  OF  THE  PAPACY  AND  THE  AVIGNON 
EXILE.    A  D.  1294-1877. 

§  2.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE    ........  5 

§  3.   POPE  BONIFACE  VIII.     1294-1303        ......  9 

§  4.   BONIFACE  VIII.  AND  PHILIP  THE  FAIR  or  FRANCE    ...  15 

§  6.   LITERARY  ATTACKS  AGAINST  THE  PAPACY   .....  29 

§  6"   THE  TRANSFER  OF  THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON      .        .  .44 

§  7.   THE  PONTIFICATE  OF  JOHN  XXII.     1316-1334    ....  60 

§  8.   THE  PAPAL  OFFICE  ASSAILED      .......  71 

§  9.   THE  FINANCIAL  POLICY  OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES        ...  82 

§  10.   THE  LATER  AVIGNON  POPES         .......  96 

§  11.   THE  RE&STABLISHMENT  OF  THE  PAPACY  IN  ROME.     1377  .        .  106 

CHAPTER  II.    THE  PAPAL  SCHISM  AND  THE  REFORMATORY 
COUNCILS     1878-1449 


§12.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE    

.     116 
117 

§  14.   FURTHER  PROGRESS  OF  THE  SCHISM.     1378-1409 
§  151   THE  COUNCIL  OF  PISA.     1409       .                          ... 
§  16"  THE  COUNCIL  OF  CONSTANCE.     1414-1418    .... 
§  17.   THE  COUNCIL  OF  BASEL.     1431-1449  
§  18.  THE  COUNCIL  OF  FERRARA-FLORENCE.     1488-1445      . 

.     126 
.     138 
.     145 
.     167 
.     179 

CHAPTER  III.  LEADERS  OF  CATHOLIC  THOUGHT. 

§  19.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE    ........  186 

§  20.   OCKAM  AND  THE  DECAY  OF  SCHOLASTICISM         .  188 

§  21.   CATHERINE  OF  SIENA,  THE  SAINT        ......  194 

§  22.   PETER  D'AILLY,  ECCLESIASTICAL  STATESMAN      ....  205 

§  23.  JOHN  GERSON,  THEOLOGIAN  AND  CHURCH  LEADER     .        .        .207 

§  24.   NICOLAS  OF  CLAMANGKS,  THE  MORALIST      .....  218 

§  25.   NICOLAS  OF  CUBA,  SCHOLAR  AND  CHURCHMAN     ....  223 

§  26.   POPULAR  PREACHERS    .........  227 

CHAPTER  IV.    THE  GERMAN  MYSTICS. 


§  27.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE 
§  28.*  THE  NEW  MYSTICISM    . 


X  CONTENTS 

PAOR 

§  29^  MEISTER  ECKART 243 

§  30t   JOHN  TAULBR  OF  STRASSBURG 266 

§  31*.   HENRY  Suso 262 

§  321   THE  FRIENDS  OF  GOD 269 

§  38.   JOHN  OF  RUYSBROECK 273 

§  34".   GERRIT  DE  GROOTE.     THL  BROTHERS  OF  THE  COMMON  LIFE     .  278 

§85*.   THE  IMITATION  OF  CHRIST.    THOMAS  A  KEMPIS          .        .        .  284 

§  86.   THE  GERMAN  THEOLOGY 293 

§  37.   ENGLISH  MYSTICS 295 

CHAPTER  V.    REFORMERS  BEFORE  THE  REFORMATION. 

§  88.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE .  299 

§  30.  THE  CHURCH  IN  ENGLAND  IN  THE  14ni  CENTURY       .        .  302 

§  40.   JOHN  WYCLIF 314 

§  41.   WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS 325 

§  42.    WYCLIF  AND  THE  SCRIPTURES 338 

§  43.   THE  LOLLARDS 349 

§  44.  JOHN  Huss  OF  BOHEMIA       ...                ....  858 

§  45.   Huss  AT  CONSTANCE 871 

§  46.   JEROME  OF  FRAG 388 

§  47.   THE  HUSSITES ....  391 

CHAPTER  VI.    THE  LAST  POPES  OF  THE  MIDDLE  AGES     1447-1521. 

§48.    LITERATURE  AND  GENERAL  SLRVEY 400 

§  49.  NICOLAS  V.     1447-1455 406 

§  60.   -/ENEAS  SYLVIUS  DE'  PICCOLOMINI,  Pius  II         ....  414 

§  61.    PAUL  II.     1464-1471 425 

§  62.   SIXTUS  IV.     1471-1484 429 

§  63.   INNOCENT  VIII.     1484-1402 436 

§64.   POPE  ALEXANDER  VI  —BORGIA.     1492-1503     .        .        .         .443 
§  66.   JULIUS  II.,  THE  WARRIOR-POPE.     1503-lol3      .        .        .        .466 

§  66.   LEO  X.     1613-1521 479 

CHAPTER  VII     HERESY  AND  WITCHCRAFT. 

§  67.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE 497 

§  68.    HERETICAL  AND  UNCHURCHLY  MOVEMENTS 498 

§  69.    WITCHCRAFT 614 

§  60.   THE  SPANISH  INQUISITION 633 

CHAPTER  VIII.    THE  RENAISSANCE. 

§  61.   SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE 566 

§  62.   THE  INTELLECTUAL  AWAKENING 669 

§  63.   DANTE,  PETRARCA,  BOCCACCIO 666 

§  64.   PROGRESS  OF  CLASSICAL  STUDIES 679 

§  65.    GREEK  TEACHERS  AND  ITALIAN  HUMANISTS         ....  688 

§  66.   THE  ARTISTS 698 

§  67.   THE  REVIVAL  OF  PAGANISM 606 

§68.   GERMAN  HUMANISM 618 

REUCHLIN  AND  ERASMUS 625 


CONTENTS  Xi 

PAGK 

§  70     HUMANISM  IN  FRANCE 642 

§  71.    HUMANISM  IN  ENGLAND 645 

CHAPTER   IX     THE  PULPIT   AND   POPULAR  PIETY 

§  72.    LITERATURE 651) 

§  73.    THE  CLERGY          .                          662 

§  74.    PREACHING 671 

§  76.    DOCTRINAL  REFORMERS         ....                 ...  680 

§  76."  SAVONAROLA 684 

§  77.    STUDY  AND  CIRCULATION  OF  THE  BIBLE      .         .         .        .         .716 

§  78.    POPULAR  PIETY 729 

§  70.    WORKS  OF  CHARITY 747 

§  80.    THE  SALE  OF  INDULGENCES  .                          756 

CHAPTER  X.    THE  CLOSE  OF  THE  MIDDLE   AGES 


ILLUSTRATIONS 


WICLIF Frontispiece 

PAGE 

JULIUS  II xn 


THE  KAUFHAUS,  CONSTANCE Facing  148 

JOHN  HUBS  OF  BOHEMIA **      358 

POPE  LEO  X "480 

SAVONAROLA "       684 


JULIUS  II 


THE  MIDDLE  AGES. 


THE  DECLINE  OF  THE  PAPACY  AND  THE 

PREPARATION  FOR  MODERN 

CHRISTIANITY. 

FROM  BONIFACE  VIII.   TO   MARTIN  LUTHER. 
A.D.   1294-1517. 

THE  SIXTH  PERIOD  OF  CHURCH  HISTORY. 
§  1.    Introductory  Survey. 

THE  two  centuries  intervening  between  1294  and  1517, 
between  the  accession  of  Boniface  VIII.  and  the  nailing  of 
Luther's  Ninety-five  Theses  against  the  church  door  in  Wit- 
tenberg, mark  the  gradual  transition  from  the  Middle  Ages 
to  modern  times,  from  the  universal  acceptance  of  the  papal 
theocracy  in  Western  Europe  to  the  assertion  of  national 
independence,  from  the  supreme  authority  of  the  priesthood 
to  the  intellectual  and  spiritual  freedom  of  the  individual. 
Old  things  are  passing  away  ;  signs  of  a  new  order  increase. 
Institutions  are  seen  to  be  breaking  up.  The  scholastic  sys- 
tems of  theology  lose  their  compulsive  hold  on  men's  minds, 
and  even  become  the  subject  of  ridicule.  The  abuses  of  the 
earlier  Middle  Ages  call  forth  voices  demanding  reform  on 
the  basis  of  the  Scriptures  and  the  common  well-being  of 
mankind.  The  inherent  vital  energies  in  the  Church  seek 
expression  in  new  forms  of  piety  and  charitable  deed. 

The  power  of  the  papacy,  which  had  asserted  infallibility 
of  judgment  and  dominion  over  all  departments  of  human 
life,  was  undermined  by  the  mistakes,  pretensions,  and  world- 
liness  of  the  papacy  itself,  as  exhibited  in  the  policy  of  Boni- 


2  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

face  VIII.,  the  removal  of  the  papal  residence  to  Avignon, 
and  the  disastrous  schism  which,  for  nearly  half  a  century, 
gave  to  Europe  the  spectacle  of  two,  and  at  times  three, 
popes  reigning  at  the  same  time  and  all  professing  to  be  the 
vicegerents  of  God  on  earth. 

The  free  spirit  of  nationality  awakened  during  the  crusades 
grew  strong  and  successfully  resisted  the  papal  authority, 
first  in  France  and  then  in  other  parts  of  Europe.  Princes 
asserted  supreme  authority  over  the  citizens  within  their  do- 
minions and  insisted  upon  the  obligations  of  churches  to 
the  state.  The  leadership  of  Europe  passed  from  Germany 
to  France,  with  England  coming  more  and  more  into  promi- 
nence. 

The  tractarian  literature  of  the  fourteenth  century  set 
forth  the  rights  of  man  and  the  principles  of  common  law  in 
opposition  to  the  pretensions  of  the  papacy  and  the  dogma- 
tism of  the  scholastic  systems.  Lay  writers  made  themselves 
heard  as  pioneers  of  thought,  and  a  practical  outlook  upon 
the  mission  of  the  Church  was  cultivated.  With  unexampled 
audacity  Dante  assailed  the  lives  of  popes,  putting  some  of 
St.  Peter's  successors  into  the  lowest  rooms  of  hell. 

The  Reformatory  councils  of  Pisa,  Constance,  and  Basel 
turned  Europe  for  nearly  fifty  years,  1409-1450,  into  a  plat- 
form of  ecclesiastical  and  religious  discussion.  Though  they 
failed  to  provide  a  remedy  for  the  disorders  prevailing  in  the 
Church,  they  set  an  example  of  free  debate,  and  gave  the 
weight  of  their  eminent  constituency  to  the  principle  that 
not  in  a  select  group  of  hierarchs  does  supreme  authority 
in  the  Church  rest,  but  in  the  body  of  the  Church. 

The  hopelessness  of  expecting  any  permanent  reform  from 
the  papacy  and  the  hierarchy  was  demonstrated  in  the  last 
years  of  the  period,  1460-1517,  when  ecclesiastical  Rome 
offered  a  spectacle  of  moral  corruption  and  spiritual  fall 
which  has  been  compared  to  the  corrupt  age  of  the  Roman 
Empire. 

The  religious  unrest  and  the  passion  for  a  better  state  of 
affairs  found  expression  in  Wyclif,  Huss,  and  other  leaders 
who,  by  their  clear  apprehension  of  truth  and  readiness  to 


§  1.      INTRODUCTORY  SURVEY.  3 

stand  by  their  public  utterances,  even  unto  death,  stood  far 
above  their  own  age  and  have  shone  in  all  the  ages  since. 

While  coarse  ambition  and  nepotism,  a  total  perversion  of 
the  ecclesiastical  office  and  violation  of  the  fundamental  vir- 
tues of  the  Christian  life  held  rule  in  the  highest  place  of 
Christendom,  a  pure  stream  of  piety  was  flowing  in  the 
Church  of  the  North,  and  the  mystics  along  the  Rhine  and 
in  the  Lowlands  were  unconsciously  fertilizing  the  soil  from 
which  the  Reformation  was  to  spring  forth. 

The  Renaissance,  or  the  revival  of  classical  culture,  un- 
shackled the  minds  of  men.  The  classical  works  of  antiq- 
uity were  once  more,  after  the  churchly  disparagement  of  a 
thousand  years,  held  forth  to  admiration.  The  confines  of 
geography  were  extended  by  the  discoveries  of  the  continent 
in  the  West. 

The  invention  of  the  art  of  printing,  about  1440,  forms  an 
epoch  in  human  advancement,  and  made  it  possible  for  the 
products  of  human  thought  to  be  circulated  widely  among 
the  people,  and  thus  to  train  the  different  nations  for  the 
new  age  of  religious  enfranchisement  about  to  come,  and 
the  sovereignty  of  the  intellect. 

To  this  generation,  which  looks  back  over  the  last  four 
centuries,  the  discovery  of  America  and  the  pathways  to  the 
Indies  was  one  of  the  remarkable  events  in  history,  a  surprise 
and  a  prophecy.  In  1453,  Constantinople  easily  passed  into 
the  hands  of  the  Turk,  and  the  Christian  empire  of  the  East 
fell  apart.  In  the  far  West  the  beginnings  of  a  new  empire 
were  made,  just  as  the  Middle  Ages  were  drawing  to  a  close. 

At  the  same  time,  at  the  very  close  of  the  period,  under 
the  direction  and  protection  of  the  Church,  an  institution 
was  being  prosecuted  which  has  scarcely  been  equalled  in 
the  history  of  human  cruelty,  the  Inquisition,  —  now  papal, 
now  Spanish,  —  which  punished  heretics  unto  death  in  Spain 
and  witches  in  Germany. 

Thus  European  society  was  shaking  itself  clear  of  long- 
established  customs  and  dogmas  based  upon  the  infallibility 
of  the  Church  visible,  and  at  the  same  time  it  held  fast  to 
some  of  the  most  noxious  beliefs  and  practices  the  Church  had 


4  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

allowed  herself  to  accept  and  propagate.  It  had  not  the 
original  genius  or  the  conviction  to  produce  a  new  system  of 
theology.  The  great  Schoolmen  continued  to  rule  doctrinal 
thought.  It  established  no  new  ecclesiastical  institution  of 
an  abiding  character  like  the  canon  law.  It  exhibited  no 
consuming  passion  such  as  went  out  in  the  preceding  period 
in  the  crusades  and  the  activity  of  the  Mendicant  Orders. 
It  had  no  transcendent  ecclesiastical  characters  like  St.  Ber- 
nard and  Innocent  III.  The  last  period  of  the  Middle  Ages 
was  a  period  of  intellectual  discontent,  of  self-introspection, 
a  period  of  intimation  and  of  preparation  for  an  order  which 
it  was  itself  not  capable  of  begetting. 


CHAPTER  I. 

THE  DECLINE  OF   THE   PAPACY  AND  THE  AVIGNON   EXILE. 

A.D.   1294-1377. 

§  2.    Sources  and  Literature. 

For  works  covering  the  entire  period,  see  V.  1.  1-3,  such  as  the  col- 
lections of  MANSI,  MuRATOiti,  and  the  Rolls  Series ;  Friedberg's  Decretum 
Gratiani,  2  vols.,  Leipzig,  1870-1881;  HEFELE-KNOPFLER  :  Concilienge- 
schichte;  MIRBT:  Qitellen  zur  Geschichte  des  Papstthums,  2d  ed.,  1901 ;  the 
works  of  GREGOROVIUS  and  BRYCE,  the  General  Church  and  Doctrinal  His- 
tories of  GIESELER,  HEFELE,  FUNK,  HERGENROTHER-KIRSCH,  KARL  MILLER, 
HARNACK,  LOOPS,  and  SEEBERG  ;  the  Encyclopedias  of  HERZOO,  WETZER- 
WELTE,  LESLIE  STEPHEN,  POTTHAST,  and  CHEVALIER  ;  the  Atlases  of  F.  W. 
PUTZOER,  Leipzig,  HEUSSI  and  MLJLERT,  TUbingen,  1905,  and  LABBERTON, 
New  York.  L.  PASTOR  Geschichte  der  Papste,  etc.,  4  vols.,  4th  ed.,  1901- 
1906,  and  MANDELL  CREIGHTON  :  History  of  the  Papacy,  etc.,  London,  1882- 
1894,  also  cover  the  entire  period  in  the  body  of  their  works  and  their 
Introductory  Chapters.  There  is  no  general  collection  of  ecclesiastical  authors 
for  this  period  corresponding  to  Migne's  Latin  Patrology. 

For  §§  8,  4.  BONIFACE  VIII.  llegesta  Bonifatii  in  POTTHAST  :  Regesta 
pontificum  row.,  II.,  1923-2024,  2133  sq.—/>s  Registres  de  Boniface  VIIL, 
ed.  DIOARD,  FAU^ON  ET  THOMAS,  7  Fasc.,  Paris,  1884-1903. — Hist,  eccles.  of 
Ptolemaeus  of  Lucca,  Vitce  Pontif.  of  Bernardus  Guidonis,  Chron.  Pontif.  of 
Amalncus  Auger,  Hist,  rerum  in  Italia  gestarum  of  Ferretus  Vicentinus,  and 
Chronica  universale  of  Villani,  all  in  MURATORI  :  Eerum  Ital.  Scriptores, 
III.  670  sqq.,  X.  690  sqq.,  XI.  1202  sqq.,  XIII.  348  sqq.  —  Selections  from 
Villani,  trans,  by  ROSE  E.  SELFE,  ed.  by  P.  H.  WICKSTEED,  Westminster, 
1897.  — FINKE  :  Aus  den  Tagen  Bonifaz  VIII. ,  Munster,  1902.  Prints  val- 
uable documents,  pp.  i-ccxi.  Also  Ada  Aragonensia.  Quellen  .  .  .  zur 
Kirchen  und  Kultiirgeschichte  aus  der  diplomatischen  Korrespondenz  Jayme 
//.,  1291-1327 ',  2  vols.,  Berlin,  1908.  — DOLLINGER  :  Beitrage  zur  politischen, 
kirchlichen  und  Culturgeschichte  der  letzten  6  Jahrh.,  3  vols.,  Vienna,  1862- 
1882.  Vol.  III.,  pp.  347-363,  contains  a  Life  of  Boniface  drawn  from  the 
Chronicle  of  Orvieto  by  an  eye-witness,  and  other  documents.— -DENIFLE  :  Die 
Denkschriften  der  Colonna  gegen  Bonifaz  VIIL,  etc.,  in  Archiv  fttr  Lit. 
und  Kirchengeschichte  des  M.A.,  1892,  V.  493  sqq.— DANTE  :  Inferno,  XIX. 
62  sqq.,  XXVII.  86  sqq.  ;  Paradiso,  IX.  182,  XXVII.  22,  XXX.  147. 
MODERN  WORKS.  —  J.  RUBKUS  :  Bonif.  VIII.  e  familia  Cajetanorum, 
Rome,  1651.  Magnifies  Boniface  as  an  ideal  pope.— P.  DUPUY  :  Hist,  du  dif~ 
ferend  entre  le  Pape  Bon.  ft  Philip  le  Bel,  Paris,  1665. — BAIL  LET  (a  Jansen- 
ist)  :  Hist,  des  desmeles  du  Pape  Bon.  VIII.  avec  Philip  le  Bel,  Paris,  1718.  — 

6 


6  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

L.  TOSTI:  Storia  di  Bon.  VIII.  e  de*  suoi  tempi,  2  vols.,  Rome,  1846.  A 
glorification  of  Boniface.— W.  DRUM  ANN:  Oesch.  Bonifatius  VIIL,  2  vols., 
Konigsberg,  1862. — CARDINAL  WISEMAN  :  Pope  Bon.  VIIL  in  his  Essays, 
III.  161-222.  Apologetic.  —  BOUTARIC  :  La  France  sous  Philippe  le  Bel, 
Tans,  1861.— R.  HOLTZMANN  :  W.von  Nogaret,  Freiburg,  1898.— E.  RENAN: 
Guil  de  Nogaret,  in  Hist.  Litt.  de  France,  XXVII.  233  sq. ;  also  titudes  sur 
la  politique  rel.  du  regne  de  Phil,  le  Bel,  Paris,  1899. — DOLLINOER  :  Anagni  in 
Akad.  Vortrdge,  III.  223-244.  —  HEINRICH  FINKE  (prof,  in  Freiburg)  :  as 
above.  Also  Papsttum  und  Untergang  des  Tempelordens,  2  vols.,  MUnster, 
1907. — J.  HALLER:  Papsttum  und  Kirchenreform,  Berlin,  1903.  —  RICH. 
SCHOLZ  :  Die  Publizistik  zur  Zeit  Philipps  des  Schonen  und  Bonifaz  VIIL, 
Stuttgart,  1903. — The  Ch.  Histt.  of  GIESELER,  HERGENROTHER-KIRSCH,  4th 
ed.,  1904,  II.  682-698,  F.  X.  FUNK,  4th  ed.,  1902,  HEFELE,  3d  ed.,  1902, 
K.  MULLER,  HEFELE-KNOPFLER  :  Conciliengeschichte,  VI.  281-364. — RANKE  : 
Vnivers.  Hist.,  IX.  —  GREGOROVIUS  :  History  of  the  City  of  Some,  V.  —  WAT- 
TBNBACH:  Gesch.  des  rom.  Papstthums,  2d  ed.,  Berlin,  1870,  pp.  211-226. 
—  G.  B.  ADAMS  :  Civilization  during  the  Middle  Ages,  New  York,  1894,  ch. 
XIV.  —Art.  Bonifatius  by  HAUCK  in  Herzog,  III.  291-300. 

For  §  6.  LITERARY  ATTACKS  UPON  THE  PAPACY.  DANTE  ALLIGHIERI  : 
De  monarchia,  ed.  by  WITTE,  Vienna,  1874 ;  GIULIANI,  Florence,  1878 ; 
MOORE,  Oxford,  1894.  Eng.  trans,  by  F.  C.  CHURCH,  together  with  the  essay 
on  Dante  by  his  father,  R.  W.  CHURCH,  London,  1878 ;  P.  H.  Wicksteed,  Hull, 
1896  ;  Aurelia  Henry,  Boston,  1904.  —Dante's  De  monarchia,  Valla's  De  falsa 
donatione  Constantini,  and  other  anti-papal  documents  are  given  in  De  juris- 
dictione,  auctoritate  et  prceeminentia  imperiali,  Basel,  1566.  Many  of  the 
tracts  called  forth  by  the  struggle  between  Boniface  VIII.  and  Philip  IV.  are 
found  in  MELCHIOR  GOLDAST  :  Monarchia  S.  Eomani  wiperii,  sive  tractatus 
de  jurisdictione  imperiali  seu  regia  et  pontificia  sen  sacerdotali,  etc.,  Han- 
over, 1610,  pp.  766,  Frankfurt,  1668.  With  a  preface  dedicated  to  the  elector, 
John  Sigismund  of  Brandenburg ;  in  DUPUY  :  Hist,  du  Differend,  etc.,  Paris, 
1665,  and  in  Finke  and  Scholz.  See  above. —  E.  ZECK:  De  recuperatione 
terras  Sanctce,  Ein  Traktat  d.  P.  Dubois,  Berlin,  1906.  For  summary  and 
criticism,  S.  RIEZLER  :  Die  literarischen  Widersacher  der  Pdpste  zur  Zeit 
Ludwig  des  Balers,  pp.  131-166.  Leipzig,  1874.  — R.  L.  POOLE  :  Opposition  to 
the  Temporal  Claims  of  the  Papacy,  in  his  Illustrations  of  the  Hist,  of  Uded. 
Thought,  pp.  266-281,  London,  1884.  —FINKE:  Ausden  Tagen Bonifaz  VIIL, 
pp.  169  sqq.,  etc. — DENIFLE  :  Chartulanum  Un.  Parisiensis,  4  vols. — 
HALLER:  Papsttum.— Artt.  in  Wetzer-Welte,  Colonna,  III.  667-671,  and 
Johann  von  Paris,  VI.  1744-1746,  etc.— RENAN:  Pierre  Dubois  in  Hist. 
Litt.  de  France,  XXVI.  471-636.  —  HERGENROTHER-KIRBCH  :  Kirchengesch., 
II.  754  sqq. 

For  §  6.  TRANSFER  OF  THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON.  BENEDICT  XI. :  Re- 
gistre  de  Benolt  XL,  ed.  C.  GRANDJEAN.  — For  Clement  V.,  dementis papce  V. 
regestum  ed.  cura  et  studio  monachorum  ord.  8.  Benedicti,  9  vols.,  Rome, 
1885-1892. — ETIENNE  BALUZE:  Vita  paparum  Avenoniensium  1805-1894, 
dedicated  to  Louis  XIV.  and  placed  on  the  Index,  2  vols.,  Paris,  1693. 
RAYNALDUS  :  ad  annum,  1304  sqq.,  for  original  documents.  —  W.  H.  BLISS  : 
Calendar  of  Entries  in  the  Papal  Registries  relating  to  Great  Britain  and 


§  2.      SOURCES   AND  LITERATURE.  7 

Ireland,  I. -IV.,  London,  1896-1902. — GIOVANHI  and  MATTEO  VILLANI: 
Hist,  of  Florence  sive  Chronica  universalis,  bks.  VIII.  sq.-— M.  TANOL:  Die 
papstlichen  Eegesta  von  Benedict  XIL-ttregor  XL,  Innsbruck,  1898. 
MANSI  :  Condi.,  XXV.  368  sqq.,  389  sqq.— J.  B.  CHRISTOPHE  :  Hist,  de  la 
papaute  pendant  le  XIV*  siecle,  2  vols.,  Paris,  1853.  — C.  VON  HOFLER:  Die 
avignonesischen  Papste,  Vienna,  1871. — FAUOON:  La  libraire  des  papes 
d*  Avignon,  2  vols.,  Paris,  1886  sq. — M.  SOUCHON  :  Die  Papstwahlen  von 
Bonifaz  VIII.- Urban  VI.,  Braunschweig,  1888.  —A.  EITEL  :  D.  Kirchenstaat 
unter  Klemens  V.,  Berlin,  1906. — CLINTON  LOCKE  :  Age  of  the  Great  West- 
ern Schism,  pp.  1-99,  New  York,  1896. — J.  H.  ROBINSON:  Petrarch,  New 
York,  1898.  —  SCHWAB:  J.  Gerson,  pp.  1-7.  —  DOLLINGER-FRIEDRICH  :  Das 
Papstthum,  Munich,  1892.  — PASTOR  :  Geschichte  der  Pdpste  seit  dem  Ausgang 
de s  M.  A.,  4  vols.,  3d  and  4th  ed.,  1901  sqq.,  I.  67-114.  — STUBBS:  Const.  Hist, 
of  England. — CAPES  :  The  English  Church  in  the  14th  and  15th  Centuries, 
London,  1900.  —  WATTENBACH  :  Horn.  Papstthum,  pp.  226-241. —HALLE  R: 
Papsttum,  etc.  —  HEFELE-KNOPFLER  :  VI.  378-936.  — RANKE  :  Univers.  Hist., 
IX.  —  GRKGOROVIUS  :  VI. — The  Ch.  Histt.  of  GIESELER,  HERGENROTHER- 
KIRSCH,  II.  737-776,  MILLER,  II.  16-42.  —  EHRLE  :  Der  Nachlass  Clemens  V. 
in  Archiv  fur  Lit.  u.  Kirchengesch.,  V.  1-150.  For  the  fall  of  the  Templars, 
see  for  lit.  V.  1.  p.  301  sqq.,  and  especially  the  works  of  BOUTARIC,  PRUTZ, 
SCHOTTMITLLER,  DoLLiNGER. — FUNK  in  Wetzer-Welte,  XI.  1311-1345. — LEA  : 
Inquisition,  III.  FINKE  :  Papsttum  und  Untergang  des  Tempelordens,  2  vols., 
1907.  Vol.  II.  contains  Spanish  documents,  hitherto  unpublished,  bearing 
on  the  fall  of  the  Templars,  especially  letters  to  and  from  King  Jayme  of 
Aragon.  They  are  confirmatory  of  former  views. 

For  §  7.  THE  PONTIFICATE  OF  JOHN  XXII.  Lettres  secretes  et  curiales 
du  pape  Jean  XXII.  relative  a  la  France,  ed.  AUG.  COULON,  3  Fasc  ,  1900  sq. 
Lettres  communes  de  p.  Jean  XXIL,  ed.  MOLLAT,  3  vols.,  Paris,  1904-1906. — 
J.  GITERARD:  Documents  pontificeaux  sur  la  Gascogne.  Pontijicat  de 
Jean  XXIL,  2  vols.,  Paris,  1897-1903.— B  A  LUZE  :  Vitce  paparum.— V.  VE- 
LARQUE  :  Jean  XXIL  sa  vie  et  ses  oeuvres,  Paris,  1883.  —  J.  SCHWALM,  Appel- 
lation d.  Konig  Ludwigs  des  Baiern  v.  1SS4,  1906.  — RIEZLER  D.  lit. 
Widersacher.  Also  Vatikanische  Akten  zur  deutschen  Gesch  zur  Zeit  Lud- 
wigs  des  Bayern,  Innsbruck,  1891.  —  K.  MOLLER  :  Der  Kampf  Ludwigs  des 
Baiern  mit  der  romischen  Curie,  2  vols.,  Ttibingen,  1879  sq. — EHRLE:  Die 
Spirituallen,  ihr  Verhdltniss  zum  Franciskanerorden,  etc.,  in  Archiv  fur  Lit. 
und  Kirchengesch.,  1885,  p.  609  sqq.,  1886,  p.  106  sqq.,  1887,  p.  563  sqq., 
1890.  Also  P.  J.  Olivi :  S.  Leben  und  s.  Schriften,  1887,  pp.  409-540.— DOL- 
LINGER  :  Deutschlands  Kampf  mit  dem  Papstthum  unter  Ludwig  dem  Bayer 
in  Akad.  Vortrdge,  I.  119-137.  —  HKFELE  :  VI.  646-679.  — LEA  :  Inquisition, 
I.  242-304.— The  Artt.  in  Wetzer-Welte,  Franziskanerorden,  IV.  1650-1683, 
and  Armut,  I.  1394-1401.  Artt.  John  XXIL  in  Herzog,  IX.  267-270,  and 
Wetzer-Welte,  VIII.  828  sqq.  — HALLER:  Papsttum,  p.  91  sqq. — STUBBS: 
Const.  Hist,  of  England.  —  GBEGOROVIUS,  VI.  —  PASTOR  :  I.  80  sqq. 

For  §  8.  THE  PAPAL  OFFICE  ASSAILED.  Some  of  the  tracts  may  be 
found  in  GOLDAST  :  Monarchia,  Hanover,  1610,  e.g.  Marsiglius  of  Padua, 
U.  164-312  ;  Ockam1s  Octo  qucestionum  decisiones  super  potestate  ac  dig ni- 
tate  papali,  II.  740  sqq.,  and  Dialogus  inter  magistrum  et  discipulum,  etc., 


8  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

II.,  399  sqq.  Special  edd.  are  given  in  the  body  of  the  chap,  and  may  be 
found  under  Alvarus  Pelagius,  Marsiglius,  etc. ,  in  POTTHABT  :  Bibl.  med.  cevi. — 
Un  trattato  inedito  di  Egidio  Colonna :  De  ecclesice  potestate,  ed.  G.  U.  OXILIA 
etG.  BOFPITO,  Florence,  1908,  pp.  Ixxxi,  172.  — SCHWAB:  Gerson,  pp.  24- 
28. — MULLER:  D.  Kampf  Ludwigs  des  Baiern. — RIEZLER  :  Die  lit.  Wider- 
Backer  der  Papste,  etc.,  Leipzig,  1874.  — MARCOUR  :  Antheil  der  Minoriten  am 
Kampf  zwischen  Ludwig  dem  Baiern  und  Johann  XXII.,  Emmerich,  1874.  — 
POOLS  :  The  Opposition  to  the  Temporal  Claims  of  the  Papacy ,  in  Illust.  of 
the  Hist.  ofMed.  Thought,  pp.  256-281.— HALLER:  Papsttum,  etc.,  pp.  73- 
89.  English  trans,  of  Marsiglius  of  Padua,  The  Defence  of  Peace,  by  W. 
MARSHALL,  London,  1535.  —  M.  BIRCK  :  Marsilio  von  Padua  und  Alvaro 
Pelayo  uber  Papst  und  Kaiser,  Mtthlheiin,  1868.  — B.  LABANCA,  Prof .  of 
Moral  Philos.  in  the  Univ.  of  Rome:  Marsilio  da  Padova,  rif or matore  polit- 
ico e  religioso,  Padova,  1882,  pp.  235. — L.  JOURDAN  :  titude  sur  Marsile  de 
Padoue>  Montauban,  1892.  — J.  SULLIVAN  :  Marsig.  of  Padua,  in  Engl.  Hist. 
Rev.,  1905,  pp.  293-307.  An  examination  of  the  MSS.  See  also  DOLLINGER- 
FRIEDRICH:  Papstthum]  Pastor,  I.  82  sqq. ;  Gregorovius,  VI.  118  sqq.,  the 
Artt.  in  Wetzer-Welte,  Alvarus  Pelagius,  I.  667  sq.,  Marsiglius,  VIII., 
907-911,  etc.,  and  in  Herzog,  XII.  368-370,  etc.— N.  VALOIS:  Hist.  Litt., 
Paris,  1900,  XXIIL,  528-623,  an  Art.  on  the  authors  of  the  Defensor. 

For  §  9.  THE  FINANCIAL  SYSTEM  OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.  EHRLE  : 
Schatz,  Bibliothek  und  Archw  der  Papste  im  14ten  Jahrh.,  in  Archiv  fur 
Lit.  u.  Kirchengesch.,  1. 1-49,  228-365,  also  D.  Nachlass  Clemens  V.  und  der 
in  Betreff  desselben  von  Johann  XXIL  gefuhrte  Process,  V.  1-166.— PH. 
WOKER:  Das  kirchliche  Finanzwesen  der  Papste,  Nordlingen,  1878. — M. 
TANGL  :  Das  Taxenwesen  der  pdpstlichen  Kanzlei  vom  ISten  bis  zur  Mitte 
des  15ten  Jahrh.,  Innsbruck,  1892.— J.  P.  KIUSCII  :  Die  papstl.  Kollektorien 
in  Deutschland  im  XlVten  Jahrh.,  Paderborn,  1894  ;  Die  Finanzverwal- 
tung  des  Kardinalkollegiums  im  XIII.  u.  XlV.ten  Jahrh.,  Munster,  1896; 
Die  Ruckkehr  der  Papste  Urban  V.  und  Gregor  XL  von  Avignon  nach 
Horn.  Auszuge  aus  den  Kameralregistern  des  Vatikan.  Archivs,  Pader- 
born, 1898 ;  Die  papstl.  Annaten  in  Deutschland  im  XIV.  Jahrh.  1328-1360, 
Paderborn,  1903.— P.  M.  BAUMGARTEN:  Untersuchungen  und  Urkunden 
uber  die  Camera  Collegii  Cardinalium,  1295-1437,  Leipzig,  1898.— A.  GOTT- 
LOB:  Die  papstl.  Kreuzzugsteuern  des  ISten  Jahrh.,  Heiligenstadt,  1892; 
Die  Servitientaxe  im  ISten  Jahrh.,  Stuttgart,  1903.  —  EMIL  GOELLER: 
Mittheilungen  u.  Untersuchungen  Uber  das  papstl.  Register  und  Kanzlei- 
wesen  im  14ten  Jahrh.,  Rome,  1904  ;  D.  Liber  Taxarum  d.  papstl.  Kammer. 
Eine  Studie  zu  ihrer  Entstehung  u.  Anlage,  Rome,  1905,  pp.  105.— 
HALLER:  Papsttum  u.  Kirchenreform  ;  also  Aufzeichnungen  uber  den  papstl. 
Haushalt  aus  Amgnonesischer  Zeit;  die  Vertheilung  der  Seroitia  minuta  u. 
die  Obligationen  der  Praelaten  im  ISten  u.  14ten  Jahrh. ;  Die  Ausfertigung 
der  Provisionen,  etc.,  all  in  Quellen  u.  Forschungen,  ed.  by  the  Royal  Prus- 
sian Institute  in  Rome,  Rome,  1897,  1898.  —  C.  Lux:  Constitutionum  apos- 
tolicarum  de  generali  beneficiorum  reservatione,  1265-1S78,  etc.,  Wratislav, 
1904.  —A.  SCHDLTE  :  Die  Fuggerin  Rom,  1496-162S,  2  vols.,  Leipzig,  1904.  — 
C.  SAMARIN  and  G.  MOLLAT  :  La  Fiscalite  pontif.  en  France  au  XIV*  sitclc, 
Paris,  1905. —P.  THOMAN  :  Le  droit  de  propriete  des  laiques  sur  les  eglises 


§  3.      POPE  BONIFACE  VIII.      1294-1803.  9 

et  le  patronat  laique  au  moy.  age,  Paris,  1906.  Also  the  work  on  Canon 
Law  by  T.  HINSCUIUS,  6  vols.,  Berlin,  1869-1897,  and  £.  FRIEDBEHG,  6th  ed., 
Leipzig,  1903. 

For  §  10.  LATER  AVIGNON  POPES.  Lettres  des  papes  d' Avignon  se  rap- 
portant  &  la  France,  viz.  Lettres  communes  de  Benolt  XII. ,  ed.  J.  M. 
VIDAL,  Paris,  1905;  Lettres  closes,  patentes  et  curiales,  ed.  G.  DAUMET, 
Paris,  1890;  Lettres  .  .  .  de  Clement  VI.,  ed.  E.  DEPHEZ,  Paris,  1901 ;  Ex- 
cerpta  ex  registr.  de  Clem.  VI.  et  Inn.  VI.,  ed.  WERUNSKY,  Innsbruck,  1885 ; 
Lettres  .  .  .  de  Pape  Urbain  V.,  ed.  P.  LECACHEUX,  Paris,  1902.  — -J.  H. 
ALBANS  :  Actes  anciens  et  documents  concernant  le  bienheureux  Urbain  V., 
ed.  by  U.  CHEVALIER,  Paris,  1897.  Contains  the  fourteen  early  lives  of 
Urban. — BALUZB  :  Vitce  paparum  Avenionensiumt  1693; — MURATORI:  in 
Her.  ital.  scripp,  XIV.  9-728. — CERRI  :  Innocenzo  VI.,  papa,  Turin,  1878. 
MAGNAN:  Hist,  d1  Urbain  V.,  2d  ed.,  Paris,  1863.  —  WERUNSKY  :  Gesch. 
Karls  IV.  u.  seiner  Zeit,  3  vols.,  Innsbruck,  1880-1892.  —  GEO.  SCHMIDT  :  Der 
hist.  Werth  der  U  alten  Biographien  des  Urban  V.,  Breslau,  1907.— KIRSCH  : 
Ruckkehr  der  Papste,  as  above.  In  large  part,  documents  for  the  first  time 
published.— LECHNER:  Das  grosse  Sterben  in  DeutsMand,  1348-1351, 1884.— 
C.  CREIGHTON  :  Hist,  of  Epidemics  in  England,  CAMBRIDGE,  1891.  F.  A. 
GASQUET:  The  Great  Pestilence,  London,  1893,  2d  ed.,  entitled  The  Black 
Death,  1908.— A.  JESSOPP:  The  Black  Death  in  East  Anglia  in  Coming  of 
the  Friars,  pp.  166-261. — VILLANI,  WATTENBACH,  p.  226  sqq. ;  PASTOR,  I., 
GREGOROVIUS,  VI. — WURM  :  Cardinal  Albornoz,  Paderborn,  1892. 

For  §  11.  THE  RE-ESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  PAPACY  IN  ROME.  The  Lives 
of  Gregory  XL  inBaluz,  I.  425  sqq.,  and  MURATORI,  III.  2,  645.— KIRSCH: 
Ruckkehr,  etc.,  as  above. — LEON  MIROT  :  La  politique  pontif.  et  lerttourdu 
S.  Siege  a  Home,  1S76,  Paris,  1899.— F.  HAMMERICH:  St.  Brigitta,  die  nordische 
Prophetin  u.  Ordenstifterin,  Germ,  ed.,  Gotha,  1872.  For  further  lit.  on  St. 
Brigitta,  see  HERZOG,  III.  239.  For  works  on  Catherine  of  Siena,  see 
ch.  III.  Also  GIESELER,  II.,  3,  pp.  1-131;  PASTOR,  I.  101-114;  GREGO- 
ROVIUS, VI.  Lit.  under  §  10. 

§  3.   Pope  Boniface  VIII.     1294-1303. 

The  pious  but  weak  and  incapable  hermit  of  Murrhone,  Cce- 
lestine V.,  who  abdicated  the  papal  office,  was  followed  by  Bene- 
dict Gaetani,  —  or  Cajetan,  the  name  of  an  ancient  family  of 
Latin  counts,  —  known  in  history  as  Boniface  VIII.  At  the 
time  of  his  election  he  was  on  the  verge  of  fourscore,1  but  like 
Gregory  IX.  he  was  still  in  the  full  vigor  of  a  strong  intellect 

1  Drumann,  p.  4,  Gregorovius,  etc.  Setting  aside  the  testimony  of  the  con- 
temporary Ferretus  of  Vicenza,  and  on  the  ground  that  it  would  be  well-nigh 
impossible  for  a  man  of  Boniface's  talent  to  remain  in  an  inferior  position  till 
he  was  sixty,  when  he  was  made  cardinal,  Finke,  p.  3  sq.,  makes  Boniface  fif- 
teen years  younger  when  he  assumed  the  papacy. 


10  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

and  will.  If  Coelestine  had  the  reputation  of  a  saint,  Boniface 
was  a  politician,  overbearing,  implacable,  destitute  of  spiritual 
ideals,  and  controlled  by  blind  and  insatiable  lust  of  power. 

Born  at  Anagni,  Boniface  probably  studied  canon  law,  in 
which  he  was  an  expert,  in  Rome.1  He  was  made  cardinal  in 
1281,  and  represented  the  papal  see  in  France  and  England 
as  legate.  In  an  address  at  a  council  in  Paris,  assembled 
to  arrange  for  a  new  crusade,  he  reminded  the  mendicant 
monks  that  he  and  they  were  called  not  to  court  glory  or 
learning,  but  to  secure  the  salvation  of  their  souls.2 

Boniface's  election  as  pope  occurred  at  Castel  Nuovo,  near 
Naples,  Dec.  24, 1294,  the  conclave  having  convened  the  day 
before.  The  election  was  not  popular,  and  a  few  days  later, 
when  a  report  reached  Naples  that  Boniface  was  dead,  the  peo- 
ple celebrated  the  event  with  great  jubilation.  The  pontiff  was 
accompanied  on  his  way  to  Rome  by  Charles  II.  of  Naples.3 

The  coronation  was  celebrated  amid  festivities  of  unusual 
splendor.  On  his  way  to  the  Lateran,  Boniface  rode  on  a  white 
palfrey,  a  crown  on  his  head,  and  robed  in  full  pontificals. 
Two  sovereigns  walked  by  his  side,  the  kings  of  Naples  and 
Hungary.  The  Orsini,  the  Colonna,  the  Savelli,  the  Conti  and 
representatives  of  other  noble  Roman  families  followed  in  a 
body.  The  procession  had  difficulty  in  forcing  its  way  through 
the  kneeling  crowds  of  spectators.  But,  as  if  an  omen  of  the 
coming  misfortunes  of  the  new  pope,  a  furious  storm  burst 
over  the  city  while  the  solemnities  were  in  progress  and  extin- 
guished every  lamp  and  torch  in  the  church.  The  following 
day  the  pope  dined  in  the  Lateran,  the  two  kings  waiting 
behind  his  chair. 

While  these  brilliant  ceremonies  were  going  on,  Peter  of 
Murrhone  was  a  fugitive.  Not  willing  to  risk  the  possible 
rivalry  of  an  anti-pope,  Boniface  confined  his  unfortunate 

1  Not  at  Paris,  as  Bulaeus,  without  sufficient  authority,  states.  See  Finke, 
p.  6. 

9  Finke  discovered  this  document  and  gives  it  pp.  iii-vii. 

8  There  is  no  doubt  about  the  manifestation  of  popular  joy  over  the  rumor 
of  the  pope's  death.  Finke,  p.  45.  At  the  announcement  of  the  election,  the 
people  are  said  to  have  cried  out,  "  Boniface  is  a  heretic,  bad  all  through, 
and  has  in  him  nothing  that  is  Christian.11 


§  8.      POPE  BONIFACE  VIII.      1294-1303.  H 

predecessor  in  prison,  where  he  soon  died.  The  cause  of  his 
death  was  a  matter  of  uncertainty.  The  Ccelestine  party 
ascribed  it  to  Boniface,  and  exhibited  a  nail  which  they  de- 
clared the  unscrupulous  pope  had  ordered  driven  into  Coeles- 
tine's  head. 

With  Boniface  VIII.  began  the  decline  of  the  papacy.  He 
found  it  at  the  height  of  its  power.  He  died  leaving  it  humbled 
and  in  subjection  to  France.  He  sought  to  rule  in  the  proud, 
dominating  spirit  of  Gregory  VII.  and  Innocent  III.;  but  he 
was  arrogant  without  being  strong,  bold  without  being  saga- 
cious, high-spirited  without  possessing  the  wisdom  to  discern 
the  signs  of  the  times.1  The  times  had  changed.  Boniface 
made  no  allowance  for  the  new  spirit  of  nationality  which  had 
been  developed  during  the  crusading  campaigns  in  the  East, 
and  which  entered  into  conflict  with  the  old  theocratic  ideal 
of  Rome.  France,  now  in  possession  of  the  remaining  lands 
of  the  counts  of  Toulouse,  was  in  no  mood  to  listen  to  the  dic- 
tation of  the  power  across  the  Alps.  Striving  to  maintain  the 
fictitious  theory  of  papal  rights,  and  fighting  against  the  spirit 
of  the  new  age,  Boniface  lost  the  prestige  the  Apostolic  See 
had  enjoyed  for  two  centuries,  and  died  of  mortification  over 
the  indignities  heaped  upon  him  by  France. 

French  enemies  went  so  far  as  to  charge  Boniface  with 
downright  infidelity  and  the  denial  of  the  soul's  immortality. 
The  charges  were  a  slander,  but  they  show  the  reduced  con- 
fidence which  the  papal  office  inspired.  Dante,  who  visited 
Rome  during  Boniface's  pontificate,  bitterly  pursues  him  in 
all  parts  of  the  Divina  Commedia.  He  pronounced  him  "the 
prince  of  modern  Pharisees,"  a  usurper  "who  turned  the 
Vatican  hill  into  a  common  sewer  of  corruption."  The  poet 
assigned  the  pope  a  place  with  Nicholas  III.  and  Clement  V. 
among  the  simoniacs  in  "  that  most  afflicted  shade,"  one  of 
the  lowest  circles  of  hell.2  Its  floor  was  perforated  with 
holes  into  which  the  heads  of  these  popes  were  thrust. 

i  Gregorovius,  V.  697,  calls  Boniface  "an  unfortunate  reminiscence1'  of 
the  great  popes. 

*  "  Where  Simon  Magus  hath  his  curst  abode 

To  depths  profounder  thrusting  Boniface."— Paradwo,  zzx.  147  sq. 


12  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

"  The  soles  of  every  one  in  flames  were  wrapt  — l 
.  .  .  whose  upper  parts  are  thrust  below 
Fixt  like  a  stake,  most  wretched  soul 

****** 
Quivering  in  air  his  tortured  feet  were  seen." 

Contemporaries  comprehended  Boniface's  reign  in  the  descrip- 
tion, "  He  came  in  like  a  fox,  he  reigned  like  a  lion,  and  he 
died  like  a  dog,  intravit  ut  vulpes,  regnavit  ut  leo,  mortuus  est 
sicut  canis. 

In  his  attempt  to  control  the  affairs  of  European  states,  he 
met  with  less  success  than  failure,  and  in  Philip  the  Fair  of 
France  he  found  his  match. 

In  Sicily,  he  failed  to  carry  out  his  plans  to  secure  the 
transfer  of  the  realm  from  the  house  of  Aragon  to  the  king 
of  Naples. 

In  Rome,  he  incurred  the  bitter  enmity  of  the  proud  and 
powerful  family  of  the  Colonna,  by  attempting  to  dictate  the 
disposition  of  the  family  estates.  Two  of  the  Colonna,  James 
and  Peter,  who  were  cardinals,  had  been  friends  of  Coeles- 
tine,  and  supporters  of  that  pope  gathered  around  them.  Of 
their  number  was  Jacopone  da  Todi,  the  author  of  the  Stabat 
Mater,  who  wrote  a  number  of  satirical  pieces  against  Boni- 
face. Resenting  the  pope's  interference  in  their  private  mat- 
ters, the  Colonna  issued  a  memorial,  pronouncing  Ccelestine's 
abdication  and  the  election  of  Boniface  illegal.2  It  exposed 
the  haughtiness  of  Boniface,  and  represented  him  as  boasting 
that  he  was  supreme  over  kings  and  kingdoms,  even  in  tem- 
poral affairs,  and  that  he  was  governed  by  no  law  other  than 
his  own  will.8  The  document  was  placarded  on  the  churches 
and  a  copy  left  in  St.  Peter's.  In  1297  Boniface  deprived 
the  Colonna  of  their  dignity,  excommunicated  them,  and  pro- 
claimed a  crusade  against  them.  The  two  cardinals  appealed 
to  a  general  council,  the  resort  in  the  next  centuries  of  so 
many  who  found  themselves  out  of  accord  with  the  papal 
plans.  Their  strongholds  fell  one  after  another.  The  last 
of  them,  Palestrina,  had  a  melancholy  fate.  The  two  car- 

1 Inferno,  xix.  46  sq.  118.  *  Dupuy,  pp.  226-227. 

8  Super  reges  et  reyna  in  temporalibus  etiam  presidere  se  glorians,  etc., 
Scholz,  p.  338. 


§  3.      POPE  BONIFACE  VIII.      1294-1803.  lg 

dinals  with  ropes  around  their  necks  threw  themselves  at  the 
pope's  feet  and  secured  his  pardon,  but  their  estates  were 
confiscated  and  bestowed  upon  the  pope's  nephews  and  the 
Orsini.  The  Colonna  family  recovered  in  time  to  reap  a 
bitter  vengeance  upon  their  insatiable  enemy. 

The  German  emperor,  Albrecht,  Boniface  succeeded  in 
bringing  to  an  abject  submission.  The  German  envoys  were 
received  by  the  haughty  pontiff  seated  on  a  throne  with  a 
crown  upon  his  head  and  sword  in  his  hand,  and  exclaiming, 
"  I,  I  am  the  emperor."  Albrecht  accepted  his  crown  as  a 
gift,  and  acknowledged  that  the  empire  had  been  transferred 
from  the  Greeks  to  the  Germans  by  the  pope,  and  that  the 
electors  owed  the  right  of  election  to  the  Apostolic  See. 

In  England,  Boniface  met  with  sharp  resistance.  Edward 
I.,  1272-1307,  was  on  the  throne.  The  pope  attempted  to 
prevent  him  from  holding  the  crown  of  Scotland,  claiming  it 
as  a  papal  fief  from  remote  antiquity.1  The  English  parlia- 
ment, 1301,  gave  a  prompt  and  spirited  reply.  The  English 
king  was  under  no  obligation  to  the  papal  see  for  his  tem- 
poral acts.2  The  dispute  went  no  further.  The  conflict 
between  Boniface  and  France  is  reserved  for  more  prolonged 
treatment. 

An  important  and  picturesque  event  of  Boniface's  pontifi- 
cate was  the  Jubilee  Year,  celebrated  in  1300.  It  was  a  for- 
tunate conception,  adapted  to  attract  throngs  of  pilgrims  to 
Rome  and  fill  the  papal  treasury.  An  old  man  of  107  years 
of  age,  so  the  story  ran,  travelled  from  Savoy  to  Rome,  and 
told  how  his  father  had  taken  him  to  attend  a  Jubilee  in  the 
year  1200  and  exhorted  him  to  visit  it  on  its  recurrence  a  cen- 
tury after.  Interesting  as  the  story  is,  the  Jubilee  celebration 
of  1300  seems  to  have  been  the  first  of  its  kind.8  Boniface's 
bull,  appointing  it,  promised  full  remission  to  all,  being  peni- 
tent and  confessing  their  sins,  who  should  visit  St.  Peter's 

i  Tytler,  Hist,  of  Scotland,  I.  70  sqq. 

8  Edward  removed  from  Scone  to  Westminster  the  sacred  stone  on  which 
Scotch  kings  had  been  consecrated,  and  which,  according  to  the  legend,  was 
the  pillow  on  which  Jacob  rested  at  Bethel. 

8  So  Hefele  VI.  315,  and  other  Roman  Catholic  historians. 


14  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

during  the  year  1300. l  Italians  were  to  prolong  their  sojourn 
80  days,  while  for  foreigners  15  days  were  announced  to  be  suf- 
ficient. A  subsequent  papal  deliverance  extended  the  benefits 
of  the  indulgence  to  all  setting  out  for  the  Holy  City  who 
died  on  the  way.  The  only  exceptions  made  to  these  gra- 
cious provisions  were  the  Colonna,  Frederick  of  Sicily,  and 
the  Christians  holding  traffic  with  Saracens.  The  city  wore 
a  festal  appearance.  The  handkerchief  of  St.  Veronica,  bear- 
ing the  imprint  of  the  Saviour's  face,  was  exhibited.  The 
throngs  fairly  trampled  upon  one  another.  The  contempo- 
rary historian  of  Florence,  Giovanni  Villani,  testifies  from 
personal  observation  that  there  was  a  constant  population  in 
the  pontifical  city  of  200,000  pilgrims,  and  that  30,000  people 
reached  and  left  it  daily.  The  offerings  were  so  copious  that 
two  clerics  stood  day  and  night  by  the  altar  of  St.  Peter's 
gathering  up  the  coins  with  rakes. 

So  spectacular  and  profitable  a  celebration  could  not  be 
allowed  to  remain  a  memory.  The  Jubilee  was  made  a  per- 
manent institution.  A  second  celebration  was  appointed  by 
Clement  VI.  in  1350.  With  reference  to  the  brevity  of  human 
life  and  also  to  the  period  of  our  Lord's  earthly  career,  Urban 
VI.  fixed  its  recurrence  every  33  years.  Paul  II.,  in  1470, 
reduced  the  intervals  to  25  years.  The  twentieth  Jubilee 
was  celebrated  in  1900,  under  Leo  XIII.2  Leo  extended  the 


*  Potthast,  24017.  The  bull  is  reprinted  by  Mirbt,  Quellen,  p.  147  sq.  The 
indulgence  clause  runs :  non  solum  plenam  sed  largiorem  immo  plenissimam 
omnium  suorum  veniam  peccatorum  concedimus.  Villani,  VIII.  36,  speaks 
of  it  as  u  a  full  and  entire  remission  of  all  sins,  both  the  guilt  and  the  punish- 
ment thereof." 

8  Leo's  bull,  dated  May  11, 1809,  offered  indulgence  to  pilgrims  visiting  the 
basilicas  of  St.  Peter,  the  Lateran,  and  St.  Maria  Maggiore.  A  portion  of 
the  document  runs  as  follows:  "Jesus  Christ  the  Saviour  of  the  world,  has 
chosen  the  city  of  Rome  alone  and  singly  above  all  others  for  a  dignified 
and  more  than  human  purpose  and  consecrated  it  to  himself.11  The  Jubilee 
was  inaugurated  by  the  august  ceremony  of  opening  the porta  santa,  the  sacred 
door,  into  St.  Peter's,  which  it  is  the  custom  to  wall  up  after  the  celebration. 
The  special  ceremony  dates  from  Alexander  VI.  and  the  Jubilee  of  1600.  Leo 
performed  this  ceremony  in  person  by  giving  three  strokes  upon  the  door  with 
a  hammer,  and  using  the  words  aperite  mihi,  open  to  me.  The  door  symbolizes 
Christ,  opening  the  way  to  spiritual  benefits. 


§  4.      BONIFACE   VIII.    AND  PHILIP  THE  FAIE.  15 

offered  benefits  to  those  who  had  the  will  and  not  the  ability  to 
make  the  journey  to  Rome. 

For  the  offerings  accruing  from  the  Jubilee  and  for  other 
papal  moneys,  Boniface  found  easy  use.  They  enabled  him  to 
prosecute  his  wars  against  Sicily  and  the  Colonna  and  to 
enrich  his  relatives.  The  chief  object  of  his  favor  was  his 
nephew,  Peter,  the  second  son  of  his  brother  Loffred,  the 
Count  of  Caserta.  One  estate  after  another  was  added  to  this 
favorite's  possessions,  and  the  vast  sum  of  more  than  $5,000,000 
was  spent  upon  him  in  four  years.1  Nepotism  was  one  of  the 
offences  for  which  Boniface  was  arraigned  by  his  contempo- 
raries. 

§  4.    Boniface  VIII.  and  Philip  the  Fair  of  France. 

The  overshadowing  event  of  Boniface's  reign  was  his  dis- 
astrous conflict  with  Philip  IV.  of  France,  called  Philip  the 
Fair.  The  grandson  of  Louis  IX.,  this  monarch  was  wholly 
wanting  in  the  high  spiritual  qualities  which  had  distin- 
guished his  ancestor.  He  was  able  but  treacherous,  and  utterly 
unscrupulous  in  the  use  of  means  to  secure  his  ends.  Un- 
attractive as  his  character  is,  it  is  nevertheless  with  him  that 
the  first  chapter  in  the  history  of  modern  France  begins.  In 
his  conflict  with  Boniface  he  gained  a  decisive  victory.  On 
a  smaller  scale  the  conflict  was  a  repetition  of  the  conflict  be- 
tween Gregory  VII,  and  Henry  IV.,  but  with  a  different  end- 
ing. In  both  cases  the  pope  had  reached  a  venerable  age,  while 
the  sovereign  was  young  and  wholly  governed  by  selfish 
motives.  Henry  resorted  to  the  election  of  an  anti-pope. 
Philip  depended  upon  his  councillors  and  the  spirit  of  the 
new  French  nation. 

The  heir  of  the  theocracy  of  Hildebrand  repeated  Hilde- 
brand's  language  without  possessing  his  moral  qualities.  He 
claimed  for  the  papacy  supreme  authority  in  temporal  as  well 

i  See  Gregorovius,  V.  299,  684,  who  gives  an  elaborate  list  of  the  estates 
which  passed  by  Boniface's  grace  into  the  hands  of  the  Gaetani.  Adam  of  Usk, 
Chronicon,  1377-1421,  2d  ed.,  London,  1904,  p.  259,  "  the  fox,  though  ever 
greedy,  ever  remaineth  thin,  so  Boniface,  though  gorged  with  simony,  yet  to 
his  dying  day  was  never  filled.11 


16  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

as  spiritual  matters.  In  his  address  to  the  cardinals  against 
the  Colonna  he  exclaimed :  "  How  shall  we  assume  to  judge 
kings  and  princes,  and  not  dare  to  proceed  against  a  worm  I 
Let  them  perish  forever,  that  they  may  understand  that  the 
name  of  the  Roman  pontiff  is  known  in  all  the  earth  and  that 
he  alone  is  most  high  over  princes." l  The  Colonna,  in  one  of 
their  proclamations,  charged  Boniface  with  glorying  that  he  is 
exalted  above  all  princes  and  kingdoms  in  temporal  matters, 
and  may  act  as  he  pleases  in  view  of  the  fulness  of  his  power 
— plenitudo  potestatia.  In  his  official  recognition  of  the  em- 
peror, Albrecht,  Boniface  declared  that  as  *"  the  moon  has  no 
light  except  as  she  receives  it  from  the  sun,  so  no  earthly  power 
has  anything  which  it  does  not  receive  from  the  ecclesiastical 
authority."  These  claims  are  asserted  with  most  pretension 
in  the  bulls  Boniface  issued  during  his  conflict  with  France. 
Members  of  the  papal  court  encouraged  him  in  these  haughty 
assertions  of  prerogative.  The  Spaniard,  Arnald  of  Villanova, 
who  served  Boniface  as  physician,  called  him  in  his  writings 
lord  of  lords  —  deus  deorum. 

On  the  other  hand,  Philip  the  Fair  stood  as  the  embodiment 
of  the  independence  of  the  state.  He  had  behind  him  a  unified 
nation,  and  around  him  a  body  of  able  statesmen  and  publicists 
who  defended  his  views.2 

The  conflict  between  Boniface  and  Philip  passed  through 
three  stages:  (1)  the  brief  tilt  which  called  forth  the  bull 
Clericis  laicos  ;  (2)  the  decisive  battle,  1301-1303,  ending  in 
Boniface's  humiliation  at  Anagni;  (3)  the  bitter  controversy 
which  was  waged  against  the  pope's  memory  by  Philip,  ending 
with  the  Council  of  Vienne.8 


1  Quomodo  presumimus  judicare  reges  et  principes  orbis  terrarum  et  vermi- 
culum  aggredi  non  audemus,  etc. ;  Denifle,  Archiv,  etc.,  V.  621.  For  these  and 
other  quotations,  see  Finke,  Aus  den  Tagen  Bon.,  etc.,  p.  152  sqq. 

9  Contemporary  writers  spoke  of  the  modern  or  recent  French  nation  as 
opposed  to  the  nation  of  a  preceding  period.  So  the  author  of  the  Tractate 
of  1808  in  defence  of  Boniface  VIII.,  Finke,  p.  Ixxzvi.  He  said  "  the  kings  of 
the  modern  French  people  do  not  follow  in  the  footsteps  of  their  predecessors  " 
—  reges  moderni  gentis  Francorum,  etc.  The  same  writer  compared  Philip 
to  Nebuchadnezzar  rebelling  against  the  higher  powers. 

•  See  Scholz,  Publizistik,  VIII.  p.  3  sqq. 


§  4.      BONIFACE   VIII.   AND  PHILIP  THE  FAIR.  17 

The  conflict  originated  in  questions  touching  the  war  be- 
tween France  and  England.  To  meet  the  expense  of  his  arma- 
ment against  Edward  I.,  Philip  levied  tribute  upon  the  French 
clergy.  They  carried  their  complaints  to  Rome,  and  Boniface 
justified  their  contention  in  the  bull  Clericu  laicos,  1296. 
This  document  was  ordered  promulged  in  England  as  well  as 
in  France.  Robert  of  Winchelsea,  archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
had  it  read  in  all  the  English  cathedral  churches.  Its  open- 
ing sentence  impudently  asserted  that  the  laity  had  always 
been  hostile  to  the  clergy.  The  document  went  on  to  affirm 
the  subjection  of  the  state  to  the  papal  see.  Jurisdiction  over 
the  persons  of  the  priesthood  and  the  goods  of  the  Church  in  no 
wise  belongs  to  the  temporal  power.  The  Church  may  make 
gratuitous  gifts  to  the  state,  but  all  taxation  of  Church  prop- 
erty without  the  pope's  consent  is  to  be  resisted  with  excom- 
munication or  interdict. 

Imposts  upon  the  Church  for  special  emergencies  had  been 
a  subject  of  legislation  at  the  third  and  fourth  Lateran  Coun- 
cils. In  1260  Alexander  IV.  exempted  the  clergy  from 
special  taxation,  and  in  1291  Nicolas  IV.  warned  the  king  of 
France  against  using  for  his  own  schemes  the  tenth  levied  for  a 
crusade.  Boniface  had  precedent  enough  for  his  utterances. 
But  his  bull  was  promptly  met  by  Philip  with  an  act  of  re- 
prisal prohibiting  the  export  of  silver  and  gold,  horses,  arms, 
and  other  articles  from  his  realm,  and  forbidding  foreigners  to 
reside  in  France.  This  shrewd  measure  cut  off  French  con- 
tributions to  the  papal  treasury  and  cleared  France  of  the 
pope's  emissaries.  Boniface  was  forced  to  reconsider  his  posi- 
tion, and  in  conciliatory  letters,  addressed  to  the  king  and  the 
French  prelates,  pronounced  the  interpretation  put  upon  his 
deliverance  unjust.  Its  purpose  was  not  to  deny  feudal  and 
freewill  offerings  from  the  Church.  In  cases  of  emergency, 
the  pope  would  also  be  ready  to  grant  special  subsidies.  The 
document  was  so  offensive  that  the  French  bishops  begged  the 
pope  to  recall  it  altogether,  a  request  he  set  aside.  But  to 
appease  Philip,  Boniface  issued  another  bull,  July  22,  1297, 
according  thereafter  to  French  kings,  who  had  reached  the  age 
of  20,  the  right  to  judge  whether  a  tribute  from  the  clergy  was 


18  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1617. 

a  case  of  necessity  or  not.  A  month  later  he  canonized  Louis 
IX.,  a  further  act  of  conciliation. 

Boniface  also  offered  to  act  as  umpire  between  France  and 
England  in  his  personal  capacity  as  Benedict  Gaetanus.  The 
offer  was  accepted,  but  the  decision  was  not  agreeable  to  the 
French  sovereign.  The  pope  expressed  a  desire  to  visit 
Philip,  but  again  gave  offence  by  asking  Philip  for  a  loan  of 
100,000  pounds  for  Philip's  brother,  Charles  of  Valois,  whom 
Boniface  had  invested  with  the  command  of  the  papal  forces. 

In  1301  the  flame  of  controversy  was  again  started  by  a 
document,  written  probably  by  the  French  advocate,  Pierre 
Dubois,1  which  showed  the  direction  in  which  Philip's  mind 
was  working,  for  it  could  hardly  have  appeared  without  his 
assent.  The  writer  summoned  the  king  to  extend  his  domin- 
ions to  the  walls  of  Rome  and  beyond,  and  denied  the  pope's 
right  to  secular  power.  The  pontiff's  business  is  confined  to 
the  forgiving  of  sins,  prayer,  and  preaching.  Philip  continued 
to  lay  his  hand  without  scruple  on  Church  property ;  Lyons, 
which  had  been  claimed  by  the  empire,  he  demanded  as  a  part 
of  France.  Appeals  against  his  arbitrary  acts  went  to  Rome, 
and  the  pope  sent  Bernard  of  Saisset,  bishop  of  Pamiers,  to 
Paris,  with  commission  to  summon  the  French  king  to  apply 
the  clerical  tithe  for  its  appointed  purpose,  a  crusade,  and  for 
nothing  else.  Philip  showed  his  resentment  by  having  the 
legate  arrested.  He  was  adjudged  by  the  civil  tribunal  a 
traitor,  and  his  deposition  from  the  episcopate  demanded. 

Boniface's  reply,  set  forth  in  the  bull  Ausculta  fili  —  Give 
ear,  my  son  —  issued  Dec.  5,  1301,  charged  the  king  with 
high-handed  treatment  of  the  clergy  and  making  plunder 
of  ecclesiastical  property.  The  pope  announced  a  council 
to  be  held  in  Rome  to  which  the  French  prelates  were 
called  and  the  king  summoned  to  be  present,  either  in  per- 
son or  by  a  representative.  The  bull  declared  that  God 
had  placed  his  earthly  vicar  above  kings  and  kingdoms.  To 
make  the  matter  worse,  a  false  copy  of  Boniface's  bull  was 
circulated  in  France  known  as  Deum  time,  —  Fear  God,  — 

1  Summaria  brevis  et  compendiosa  doctrina  felicis  expeditionis  et  abbre- 
viationis  guerrarum  ac  litium  regni  Francorum.  See  Scholz,  p.  416. 


§  4.      BONIFACE  VIII.    AND  PHILIP  THE  FAIR.  19 

which  made  the  statements  of  papal  prerogative  still  more 
exasperating.  This  supposititious  document,  which  is  sup- 
posed to  have  been  forged  by  Pierre  Flotte,  the  king's  chief 
councillor,  was  thrown  into  the  flames  Feb.  11, 1302.1  Such 
treatment  of  a  papal  brief  was  unprecedented.  It  remained 
for  Luther  to  cast  the  genuine  bull  of  Leo  X.  into  the  fire. 
The  two  acts  had  little  in  common. 

The  king  replied  by  calling  a  French  parliament  of  the 
three  estates,  the  nobility,  clergy  and  representatives  of 
the  cities,  which  set  aside  the  papal  summons  to  the  council, 
complained  of  the  appointment  of  foreigners  to  French  liv- 
ings, and  asserted  the  crown's  independence  of  the  Church. 
Five  hundred  years  later  a  similar  representative  body  of 
the  three  estates  was  to  rise  against  French  royalty  and  de- 
cide for  the  abolition  of  monarchy.  In  a  letter  to  the  pope, 
Philip  addressed  him  as  "your  infatuated  Majesty,"2  and 
declined  all  submission  to  any  one  on  earth  in  temporal 
matters. 

The  council  called  by  the  pope  convened  in  Rome  the 
last  day  of  October,  1302,  and  included  4  archbishops,  35 
bishops,  and  6  abbots  from  France.  It  issued  two  bulls. 
The  first  pronounced  the  ban  on  all  who  detained  prel- 
ates going  to  Rome  or  returning  from  the  city.  The  sec- 
ond is  one  of  the  most  notable  of  all  papal  documents,  the 
bull  Unam  sanctam,  the  name  given  to  it  from  its  first  words, 

1  See  Scholz,  p.  357.   The  authenticity  of  the  bull  Ausculta  was  once  called 
in  question,  but  is  now  universally  acknowledged.    The  copy  in  the  Vatican 
bears  the  erasure  of  Clement  V.,  who  struck  out  the  passages  most  offensive 
to  Philip.    Hefele  gives  the  copy  preserved  in  the  library  of  St.  Victor. 

2  Sciat  maxima  tuafatuitas  in  temporalibus  no*  alicui  non  subcase,  etc. 
Hefele,  VI.  332,  calls  in  question  the  authenticity  of  this  document,  at  the 
same  time  recognizing  that  it  was  circulated  in  Rome  in  1302,  and  that 
the  pope  himself  made  reference  to  it.    The  original  phrase  is  ascribed  to 
Pierre  Flotte,  Scholz,  p.  357.    Flotte  was  an  uncompromising  advocate  of  the 
king's  sovereignty  and  independence  of  the  pope.     He  made  a  deep  impres- 
sion by  an  address  at  the  parliament  called  by  Philip,  1302.    He  was  prob- 
ably the  author  of  the  anti-papal  tract  beginning  Anteqpam  essent  clerici, 
the  text  of  which  is  printed  by  Dupuy,  pp.  21-23.    Here  he  asserts  that  the 
Church  consists  of  laymen  as  well  as  clerics,  Scholz,  p.  361,  and  that  taxea 
levied  upon  Church  property  are  not  extortions. 


20  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

"  We  are  forced  to  believe  in  one  holy  Catholic  Church."  It 
marks  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  the  declarations  of  the 
papacy,  not  because  it  contained  anything  novel,  but  because 
it  set  forth  with  unchanged  clearness  the  stiffest  claims  of  the 
papacy  to  temporal  and  spiritual  power.  It  begins  with  the 
assertion  that  there  is  only  one  true  Church,  outside  of  which 
there  is  no  salvation.  The  pope  is  the  vicar  of  Christ,  and 
whoever  refuses  to  be  ruled  by  Peter  belongs  not  to  the  fold 
of  Christ.  Both  swords  are  subject  to  the  Church,  the  spirit- 
ual and  the  temporal.  The  temporal  sword  is  to  be  wielded 
for  the  Church,  the  spiritual  by  it.  The  secular  estate  may 
be  judged  by  the  spiritual  estate,  but  the  spiritual  estate  by 
no  human  tribunal.  The  document  closes  with  the  startling 
declaration  that  for  every  human  being  the  condition  of  sal- 
vation is  obedience  to  the  Roman  pontiff. 

There  was  no  assertion  of  authority  contained  in  this  bull 
which  had  not  been  before  made  by  Gregory  VII.  and  his 
successors,  and  the  document  leans  back  not  only  upon  the 
deliverances  of  popes,  but  upon  the  definitions  of  theologians 
like  Hugo  de  St.  Victor,  Bernard  and  Thomas  Aquinas. 
But  in  the  Unam  sanctam  the  arrogance  of  the  papacy  finds 
its  most  naked  and  irritating  expression. 

One  of  the  clauses  pronounces  all  offering  resistance  to 
the  pope's  authority  Manichseans.  Thus  Philip  was  made  a 
heretic.  Six  months  later  the  pope  sent  a  cardinal  legate, 
John  le  Moine  of  Amiens,  to  announce  to  the  king  his  excom- 
munication for  preventing  French  bishops  from  going  to 
Rome.  The  bearer  of  the  message  was  imprisoned  and  the 
legate  fled.  Boniface  now  called  upon  the  German  emperor, 
Albrecht,  to  take  Philip's  throne,  as  Innocent  III.  had  called 
upon  the  French  king  to  take  John's  crown,  and  Innocent  IV. 
upon  the  count  of  Artois  to  take  the  crown  of  Frederick  II. 
Albrecht  had  wisdom  enough  to  decline  the  empty  gift. 
Philip's  seizure  of  the  papal  bulls  before  they  could  be 
promulged  in  France  was  met  by  Boniface's  announcement 
that  the  posting  of  a  bull  on  the  church  doors  of  Rome  was 
sufficient  to  give  it  force. 

The  French  parliament,  June,  1303,  passed  from  the  nega- 


§  4.      BONIFACE  VIII.    AND   PHILIP  THE  FAIR.  21 

tive  attitude  of  defending  the  king  and  French  rights  to  an 
attack  upon  Boniface  and  his  right  to  the  papal  throne.  In 
20  articles  it  accused  him  of  simony,  sorcery,  immoral  inter- 
course with  his  niece,  having  a  demon  in  his  chambers, 
the  murder  of  Coelestine,  and  other  crimes.  It  appealed  to 
a  general  council,  before  which  the  pope  was  summoned  to 
appear  in  person.  Five  archbishops  and  21  bishops  joined  in 
subscribing  to  this  document.  The  university  and  chapter  of 
Paris,  convents,  cities,  and  towns  placed  themselves  on  the 
king's  side.1 

One  more  step  the  pope  was  about  to  take  when  a  sudden 
stop  was  put  to  his  career.  He  had  set  the  eighth  day  of 
September  as  the  time  when  he  would  publicly,  in  the  church 
of  Anagni,  and  with  all  the  solemnities  known  to  the  Church, 
pronounce  the  ban  upon  the  disobedient  king  and  release  his 
subjects  from  allegiance.  In  the  same  edifice  Alexander  III. 
had  excommunicated  Barbarossa,  and  Gregory  IX.,  Frederick 
II.  The  bull  already  had  the  papal  signature,  when,  as  by  a 
storm  bursting  from  a  clear  sky,  the  pope's  plans  were  shat- 
tered and  his  career  brought  to  an  end. 

During  the  two  centuries  and  a  half  since  Hildebrand  had 
entered  the  city  of  Rome  with  Leo  IX.,  popes  had  been  im- 
prisoned by  emperors,  been  banished  from  Rome  by  its  citi- 
zens, had  fled  for  refuge  and  died  in  exile,  but  upon  no  one  of 
them  had  a  calamity  fallen  quite  so  humiliating  and  complete 
as  the  calamity  which  now  befell  Boniface.  A  plot,  formed 
in  France  to  checkmate  the  pope  and  to  carry  him  off  to  a 
council  at  Lyons,  burst  Sept.  7  upon  the  peaceful  population 
of  Anagni,  the  pope's  country  seat.  William  of  Nogaret,  pro- 
fessor of  law  at  Montpellier  and  councillor  of  the  king,  was 
the  manager  of  the  plot  and  was  probably  its  inventor.  Ac- 
cording to  the  chronicler,  Villani,2  Nogaret's  parents  were  Ca- 
thari,  and  suffered  for  heresy  in  the  flames  in  Southern  France. 
He  stood  as  a  representative  of  a  new  class  of  men,  laymen, 
who  were  able  to  compete  in  culture  with  the  best-trained 

1  The  university  declared  in  favor  of  a  general  council  June  21,  1303, 
Chartul.  Univ.  Par.  II.  101  sq. 

8  VIII.  63.    See  Scholz,  pp.  363-375,  and  Holtzmann :  W.  von  Nogaret. 


22  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

ecclesiastics,  and  advocated  the  independence  of  the  state. 
With  him  was  joined  Sciarra  Colonna,  who,  with  other  mem- 
bers of  his  family,  had  found  refuge  in  France,  and  was  thirst- 
ing for  revenge  for  their  proscription  by  the  pope.  With  a 
small  body  of  mercenaries,  300  of  them  on  horse,  they  suddenly 
appeared  in  Anagni.  The  barons  of  the  Latium,  embittered  by 
the  rise  of  the  Gaetani  family  upon  their  losses,  joined  with  the 
conspirators,  as  also  did  the  people  of  Anagni.  The  palaces 
of  two  of  Boniface's  nephews  and  several  of  the  cardinals  were 
stormed  and  seized  by  Sciarra  Colonna,  who  then  offered  the 
pope  life  on  the  three  conditions  that  the  Colonna  be  restored, 
Boniface  resign,  and  that  he  place  himself  in  the  hands  of  the 
conspirators.  The  conditions  were  rejected,  and  after  a  delay 
of  three  hours,  the  work  of  assault  and  destruction  was  re- 
newed. The  palaces  one  after  another  yielded,  and  the  papal 
residence  itself  was  taken  and  entered.  The  supreme  pontiff, 
according  to  the  description  of  Villani,1  received  the  besiegers 
in  high  pontifical  robes,  seated  on  a  throne,  with  a  crown  on 
his  head  and  a  crucifix  and  the  keys  in  his  hand.  He  proudly 
rebuked  the  intruders,  and  declared  his  readiness  to  die  for 
Christ  and  his  Church.  To  the  demand  that  he  resign  the 
papal  office,  he  replied,  "  Never;  I  am  pope  and  as  pope  I  will 
die."  Sciarra  was  about  to  kill  him,  when  he  was  intercepted 
by  Nogaret's  arm.  The  palaces  were  looted  and  the  cathe- 
dral burnt,  and  its  relics,  if  not  destroyed,  went  to  swell  the 
booty.  One  of  the  relics,  a  vase  said  to  have  contained  milk 
from  Mary's  breasts,  was  turned  over  and  broken.  The  pope 
and  his  nephews  were  held  in  confinement  for  three  days,  the 

1  VIII.  63.  Dollinger,  whose  account  is  very  vivid,  depends  chiefly  upon 
the  testimony  of  three  eye-witnesses,  a  member  of  the  curia,  the  chronicler  of 
Orvieto  and  Nogaret  himself.  He  sets  aside  much  of  Villani's  report,  which 
Reumont,  Wattenbach,  Gregorovius,  and  other  historians  adopt.  Dante  and 
Villani,  who  both  condemn  the  pope's  arrogance  and  nepotism,  resented  the 
indignity  put  upon  Boniface  at  Anagni,  and  rejoiced  over  his  deliverance  as  of 
one  who,  like  Christ,  rose  from  the  dead.  Dante  omits  all  reference  to  Sciarra 
Colonna  and  other  Italian  nobles  as  participants  in  the  plot  Dante's  descrip- 
tion is  given  in  Paradise,  xx.  86  sqq. 

"  I  see  the  flower-de-luce  Alagna  [Anagni]  enter, 
And  Christ  in  his  own  vicar  captive  made." 


§  4.      BONIFACE  VIII.    AND  PHILIP  THE  FAIfi.  23 

captors  being  undecided  whether  to  carry  Boniface  away  to 
Lyons,  set  him  at  liberty,  or  put  him  to  death.  Such  was  the 
humiliating  counterpart  to  the  proud  display  made  at  the 
pope's  coronation  nine  years  before ! 

In  the  meantime  the  feelings  of  the  Anagnese  underwent 
a  change.  The  adherents  of  the  Gaetani  family  rallied  their 
forces  and,  combining  together,  they  rescued  Boniface  and 
drove  out  the  conspirators.  Seated  at  the  head  of  his  palace 
stairway,  the  pontiff  thanked  God  and  the  people  for  his  de- 
liverance. "  Yesterday,"  he  said,  "  I  was  like  Job,  poor  and 
without  a  friend.  To-day  I  have  abundance  of  bread,  wine, 
and  water."  A  rescuing  party  from  Rome  conducted  the  un- 
fortunate pope  to  the  Holy  City,  where  he  was  no  longer  his 
own  master.1  A  month  later,  Oct.  11,  1303,  his  earthly  ca- 
reer closed.  Outside  the  death-chamber,  the  streets  of  the 
city  were  filled  with  riot  and  tumult,  and  the  Gaetani  and  Co- 
lonna  were  encamped  in  battle  array  against  each  other  in  the 
Campagna. 

Reports  agree  that  Boniface's  death  was  a  most  pitiable  one. 
He  died  of  melancholy  and  despair,  and  perhaps  actually  in- 
sane. He  refused  food,  and  beat  his  head  against  the  wall. 
44  He  was  out  of  his  head,"  wrote  Ptolemy  of  Lucca,2  and  be- 
lieved that  every  one  who  approached  him  was  seeking  to  put 
him  in  prison. 

Human  sympathy  goes  out  for  the  aged  man  of  fourscore 
years  and  more,  dying  in  loneliness  and  despair.  But  judg- 
ment comes  sooner  or  later  upon  individuals  and  institutions 
for  their  mistakes  and  offences.  The  humiliation  of  Boniface 

1  Ferretus  of  Vicenza,  Muratori :  Scriptores,  IX.  1002,  reports  that  Boni- 
face wanted  to  be  removed  from  St.  Peter's  to  the  Lateran,  but  the  Colonna 
sent  word  he  was  in  custody. 

2  Extra  mentempositus.    Ferretus  relates  that  Boniface  fell  into  a  rage  and, 
after  gnawing  his  staff  and  striking  his  head  against  the  wall,  hanged  himself. 
Viliani,  VIII.  03,  speaks  of  a  "  strange  malady  "  begotten  in  the  pope  so  that 
he  gnawed  at  himself  as  if  he  were  mad.   The  chronicler  of  Orvieto,  see  Dol- 
linger :  Beitrage,  etc.,  III.  353,  says  Boniface  died  weighed  down  by  despon- 
dency and  the  infirmities  of  age,  ubi  tristitia  et  senectutis  inflrmitate  gravatus 
mortuus  est.    It  is  charitable  to  suppose  that  the  pope's  old  enemy,  the  stone, 
returned  to  plague  him,  the  malady  from  which  the  Spanish  physician  Arnald 
of  Villanova  had  given  him  relief.    See  Finke,  p.  200  sqq. 


24  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

was  the  long-delayed  penalty  of  the  sacerdotal  pride  of  his 
predecessors  and  himself.  He  suffered  in  part  for  the  hier- 
archical arrogance  of  which  he  was  the  heir  and  in  part  for 
his  own  presumption.  Villani  and  other  contemporaries  rep- 
resent the  pope's  latter  end  as  a  deserved  punishment  for  his 
unblushing  nepotism,  his  pompous  pride,  and  his  implacable 
severity  towards  those  who  dared  to  resist  his  plans,  and  for 
his  treatment  of  the  feeble  hermit  who  preceded  him.  One 
of  the  chroniclers  reports  that  seamen  plying  near  the  Liparian 
islands,  the  reputed  entrance  to  hell,  heard  evil  spirits  rejoic- 
ing and  exclaiming,  "  Open,  open;  receive  pope  Boniface  into 
the  infernal  regions." 

Catholic  historians  like  Hergenrother  and  Kirsch,  bound  to 
the  ideals  of  the  past,  make  a  brave  attempt  to  defend  Boni- 
face, though  they  do  not  overlook  his  want  of  tact  and  his 
coarse  violence  of  speech.  It  is  certain,  says  Cardinal 
Hergenrother,1  "  that  Boniface  was  not  ruled  by  unworthy 
motives  and  that  he  did  not  deviate  from  the  paths  of  his 
predecessors  or  overstep  the  legal  conceptions  of  the  Middle 
Ages."  Finke,  also  a  Catholic  historian,  the  latest  learned 
investigator  of  the  character  and  career  of  Boniface,  acknowl- 
edges the  pope's  intellectual  ability,  but  also  emphasizes  his 
pride  and  arrogance,  his  depreciation  of  other  men,  his  disa- 
greeable spirit  and  manner,  which  left  him  without  a  personal 
friend,  his  nepotism  and  his  avarice.  He  hoped,  said  a  con- 
temporary, to  live  till  "  all  his  enemies  were  suppressed." 

In  strong  contrast  to  the  common  judgment  of  Catholic 
historians  is  the  sentence  passed  by  Gregorovius.  "  Boniface 
was  devoid  of  every  apostolical  virtue,  a  man  of  passionate 
temper,  violent,  faithless,  unscrupulous,  unforgiving,  filled 
with  ambitions  and  lust  of  worldly  power."  And  this  will 
be  the  judgment  of  those  who  feel  no  obligation  to  defend 
the  papal  institution. 

1  Kirchengesch.,  II.  597  sq.  Boniface  called  the  French  "dogs"  and 
Philip  gar^on,  which  had  the  meaning  of  street  urchin.  A  favorite  expres- 
sion with  him  was  ribaldus,  rascal,  and  he  called  Charles  of  Naples  "  meanest 
of  rascals/'  vilissimus  ribaldus.  See  Finke,  p.  202  sq.  Finke's  judgment  is 
based  in  part  upon  new  documents  he  found  in  Barcelona  and  other  libraries. 


§  4.      BONIFACE  VIII.    AND  PHILIP  THE  FAIR.  25 

In  the  humiliation  of  Boniface  VIII.,  the  state  gained  a 
signal  triumph  over  the  papacy.  The  proposition,  that  the 
papal  pretension  to  supremacy  over  the  temporal  power  is 
inconsistent  with  the  rights  of  man  and  untaught  by  the  law 
of  God,  was  about  to  be  defended  in  bold  writings  coming 
from  the  pens  of  lawyers  and  poets  in  France  and  Italy  and, 
a  half  century  later,  by  Wyclif.  These  advocates  of  the 
sovereign  independence  of  the  state  in  its  own  domain  were 
the  real  descendants  of  those  jurisconsults  who,  on  the  plain 
of  Roncaglia,  advocated  the  same  theory  in  the  hearing  of 
Frederick  Barbarossa.  Two  hundred  years  after  the  conflict 
between  Boniface  and  Philip  the  Fair,  Luther  was  to  fight 
the  battle  for  the  spiritual  sovereignty  of  the  individual 
man.  These  two  principles,  set  aside  by  the  priestly  pride 
and  theological  misunderstanding  of  the  Middle  Ages,  belong 
to  the  foundation  of  modern  civilization. 

Boniface's  Bull,   Unam  Sanctam. 

The  great  importance  of  Boniface's  bull,  Unam  Sanctam,  issued  against 
Philip  the  Fair,  Nov.  18,  1302,  justifies  its  reproduction  both  in  transla- 
tion and  the  original  Latin.  It  has  rank  among  the  most  notorious  deliver- 
ances of  the  popes  and  is  as  full  of  error  as  was  Innocent  VIII. 's  bull  issued 
in  1484  against  witchcraft.  It  presents  the  theory  of  the  supremacy  of  the 
spiritual  power  over  the  temporal,  the  authority  of  the  papacy  over  princes, 
in  its  extreme  form.  The  following  is  a  translation :  — 

Boniface,  Bishop,  Servant  of  the  servants  of  God.  For  perpetual  remem- 
brance :  — 

Urged  on  by  our  faith,  we  are  obliged  to  believe  and  hold  that  there  is 
one  holy,  catholic,  and  apostolic  Church.  And  we  firmly  believe  and  profess 
that  outside  of  her  there  is  no  salvation  nor  remission  of  sins,  as  the  bridegroom 
declares  in  the  Canticles,  "My  dove,  my  undefiled,  is  but  one;  she  is  the 
only  one  of  her  mother ;  she  is  the  choice  one  of  her  that  bare  her.1'  And 
this  represents  the  one  mystical  body  of  Christ,  and  of  this  body  Christ  is 
the  head,  and  God  is  the  head  of  Christ.  In  it  there  is  one  Lord,  one  faith, 
one  baptism.  For  in  the  time  of  the  Flood  there  was  the  single  ark  of  Noah, 
which  prefigures  the  one  Church,  and  it  was  finished  according  to  the  measure 
of  one  cubit  and  had  one  Noah  for  pilot  and  captain,  and  outside  of  it  every 
living  creature  on  the  earth,  as  we  read,  was  destroyed.  And  this  Church 
we  revere  as  the  only  one,  even  as  the  Lord  saith  by  the  prophet,  "Deliver 
my  soul  from  the  sword,  my  darling  from  the  power  of  the  dog."  He  prayed 
for  his  soul,  that  is,  for  himself,  head  and  body.  And  this  body  he  called 
one  body,  that  is,  the  Church,  because  of  the  single  bridegroom,  the  unity  of 


26  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  faith,  the  sacraments,  and  the  love  of  the  Church.  She  is  that  seamless 
shirt  of  the  Lord  which  was  not  rent  but  was  allotted  by  the  casting  of  lots. 
Therefore,  this  one  and  single  Church  has  one  head  and  not  two  heads,  —  for 
had  she  two  heads,  she  would  be  a  monster,  —that  is,  Christ  and  Christ's 
Ticar,  Peter  and  Peter's  successor.  For  the  Lord  said  unto  Peter,  "  Feed 
my  sheep. "  •*  My,"  he  said,  speaking  generally  and  not  particularly,  u  these 
and  those,11  by  which  it  is  to  be  understood  that  all  the  sheep  are  committed 
unto  him.  So,  when  the  Greeks  or  others  say  that  they  were  not  committed 
to  the  care  of  Peter  and  his  successors,  they  must  confess  that  they  are  not 
of  Christ's  sheep,  even  as  the  Lord  says  in  John,  "  There  is  one  fold  and  one 
shepherd.11 

That  in  her  and  within  her  power  are  two  swords,  we  are  taught  in  the 
Gospels,  namely,  the  spiritual  sword  and  the  temporal  sword.  For  when  the 
Apostles  said,  "  Lo,  here,11 — that  is,  in  the  Church,  —  are  two  swords,  the  Lord 
did  not  reply  to  the  Apostles  "  it  is  too  much,"  but  "  it  is  enough.11  It  is 
certain  that  whoever  denies  that  the  temporal  sword  is  in  the  power  of  Peter, 
hearkens  ill  to  the  words  of  the  Lord  which  he  spake,  "Put  up  thy  sword 
into  its  sheath.11  Therefore,  both  are  in  the  power  of  the  Church,  namely, 
the  spiritual  sword  and  the  temporal  sword  ;  the  latter  is  to  be  used  for  the 
Church,  the  former  by  the  Church ;  the  former  by  the  hand  of  the  priest, 
the  latter  by  the  hand  of  princes  and  kings,  but  at  the  nod  and  sufferance  of 
the  priest.  The  one  sword  must  of  necessity  be  subject  to  the  other,  and  the 
temporal  authority  to  the  spiritual.  For  the  Apostle  said,  "  There  is  no 
power  but  of  God,  and  the  powers  that  be  are  ordained  of  God  "  ;  and  they 
would  not  have  been  ordained  unless  one  sword  had  been  made  subject  to 
the  other,  and  even  as  the  lower  is  subjected  by  the  other  for  higher  things. 
For,  according  to  Dionysius,  it  is  a  divine  law  that  the  lowest  things  are 
made  by  mediocre  things  to  attain  to  the  highest.  For  it  is  not  according  to 
the  law  of  the  universe  that  all  things  in  an  equal  way  and  immediately 
should  reach  their  end,  but  the  lowest  through  the  mediocre  and  the  lower 
through  the  higher.  But  that  the  spiritual  power  excels  the  earthly  power 
in  dignity  and  worth,  we  will  the  more  clearly  acknowledge  just  in  proportion 
as  the  spiritual  is  higher  than  the  temporal.  And  this  we  perceive  quite  dis- 
tinctly from  the  donation  of  the  tithe  and  functions  of  benediction  and 
sanctification,  from  the  mode  in  which  the  power  was  received,  and  the  gov- 
ernment of  the  subjected  realms.  For  truth  being  the  witness,  the  spiritual 
power  has  the  functions  of  establishing  the  temporal  power  and  sitting  in 
judgment  on  it  if  it  should  prove  to  be  not  good.1  And  to  the  Church  and 
the  Church's  power  the  prophecy  of  Jeremiah  attests:  "  See,  I  have  set  thee 
this  day  over  the  nations  and  the  kingdoms  to  pluck  up  and  to  break  down 
and  to  destroy  and  to  overthrow,  to  build  and  to  plant.11 

And  if  the  earthly  power  deviate  from  the  right  path,  it  is  judged  by  the 
spiritual  power ;  but  if  a  minor  spiritual  power  deviate  from  the  right  path, 
the  lower  in  rank  is  judged  by  its  superior ;  but  if  the  supreme  power  [the 
papacy]  deviate,  it  can  be  judged  not  by  man  but  by  God  alone.  And  so  the 

1  This  passage  is  based  almost  word  for  word  upon  Hugo  de  St.  Victor, 
De  Sacramenti*,  II.  2,  4. 


§  4.      BONIFACE   VIII.    AND  PHILIP  THE  PAIR.  27 

Apostle  testifies,  "  He  which  is  spiritual  judges  all  things,  but  he  himself  is 
judged  by  no  man.1'  But  this  authority,  although  it  be  given  to  a  man,  and 
though  it  be  exercised  by  a  man,  is  not  a  human  but  a  divine  power  given  by 
divine  word  of  mouth  to  Peter  and  confirmed  to  Peter  and  to  his  successors 
by  Christ  himself,  whom  Peter  confessed,  even  him  whom  Christ  called  the 
Rock.  For  the  Lord  said  to  Peter  himself,  "  Whatsoever  thou  shalt  bind  on 
earth,"  etc.  Whoever,  therefore,  resists  this  power  so  ordained  by  God,  re- 
sists the  ordinance  of  God,  unless  perchance  he  imagine  two  principles  to 
exist,  as  did  Manichaaus,  which  we  pronounce  false  and  heretical.  For  Moses 
testified  that  God  created  heaven  and  earth  not  in  the  beginnings  but  "  in  the 
beginning.'1 

Furthermore,  that  every  human  creature  is  subject  to  the  Roman  pontiff, 
—  this  we  declare,  say,  define,  and  pronounce  to  be  altogether  necessary  to 
salvation. 

Bonifatius,  Episcopus,  Servus  servorum  Dei.    Adfuturam  rei  memoriam.1 

Unam  sanctam  ecclesiam  catholicam  et  ipsam  apostolicam  urgente  fide 
credere  cogimur  et  tenere,  nosque  hanc  firmiter  credimus  et  simpliciter  con- 
fitemur,  extra  quam  nee  solus  est,  nee  remissio  peccatorum,  sponso  in  Can- 
ticis  prodamante :  Una  est  columba  mea,  perfecta  mea.  Una  est  matris  SUCK, 
electa  genetnci  SUCK  [Cant.  6:9].  Quce  unum  corpus  mysticum  reprcesentat, 
cujus  caput  Christus,  Chnsti  vero  Deus.  In  qua  unus  Dominus,  una  fides, 
unum  baptisma.  Una  nempe  fuit  diluvii  tempore  area  Not,  unam  ecclesiam 
proeflgurans,  quce  in  uno  cubito  consummata  unum,  Noe  videlicet,  guberna- 
torem  habuit  et  rectorem,  extra  quam  omnia  subsistentia  super  terram  legimus 
fuisse  deleta. 

Hanc  autem  veneramur  et  unicam,  dicente  Domino  in  Propheta :  Erue  a 
framea,  Deus,  animam  meam  et  de  manu  cams  unicam  me  am.  [Psalm 
22  : 20.]  Pro  anima  enim,  id  est,  pro  se  ipso,  capite  simul  oravit  et  corpore. 
Quod  corpus  unicam  scilicet  ecclesiam  nominavit,  propter  sponsi,  fidei,  sacra- 
mentorum  et  cantatis  ecclesice  unitatem.  Hcec  est  tunica  ilia  Domini  incon- 
sutilis,  quce  scissa  nonfuit,  sed  sorte  provenit.  [John  19.] 

Igitur  ecclesice  unius  et  unices  unum  corpus,  unum  caput,  non  duo  capita, 
quasi  monstrum,  Christus  videlicet  et  Christi  vicarius,  Petrus,  Petrique  suc- 
cessor, dicente  Domino  ipsi  Petro:  Pasce  oves  meas.  [John  21  :17.]  Meas, 
inquit,  generahter,  non  singulanter  has  vel  illas :  per  quod  commisisse  sibi 
intelligitur  universas.  Sive  ergo  Greed  sive  alii  se  dicant  Petro  ejusque  suc- 
cessoribus  non  esse  commissos :  fateantur  necesse  est,  se  de  ombus  Christi 
non  esse,  dicente  Domino  in  Joanne,  unum  ovile  et  unicum  esse  pastorem. 
[John  10: 16.] 

In  hac  ejusque  potestate  duos  esse  gladios,  spiritualem  videlicet  et  tempo- 
ralem,  evangelicis  dictis  instruimur.  Nam  dicentibus  Apostolis :  Ecce  gladit 
duo  hie  [Luke  22  : 38],  in  ecclesia  scilicet,  cum  apostoli  loquerentur,  non  re- 
spondit  Dominus,  nimis  esse,  sed  satis.  Certe  qui  in  potestate  Petri  tempora- 
lem  gladium  esse  negat,  male  verbum  attendit  Domini  proferentis :  Converte 
gladium  tuum  in  vaginam.  [Matt.  26:62.]  Uterque  ergo  est  in  potestate 

*  The  text  is  taken  from  W.  Rttmer :  Die  Bulle,  unam  sanctam,  Schaff- 
hausen,  1889.  See  also  Mirbt :  Ouellen.  n.  Uft  «n 


28  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

ecclesias,  spiritualis  scilicet  gladius  et  materialis.  Sed  is  quidem  pro  ecclesia^ 
Hit  vero  ab  ecclesia  exercendus,  ille  sacerdotis,  is  manu  regum  et  militum, 
sed  ad  nutwn  etpatientiam  sacerdotis. 

Oportet  autem  gladium  esse  sub  gladio,  et  temporalem  auctoritatem  spir- 
ituall  subjici  potestati.  Nam  cum  dicat  Apostolus :  Non  est  potestas  nisi  a 
Deo;  qua  autem  sunt,  a  Deo  ordinata  sunt  [Rom.  13  : 1],  non  autem  ordi- 
nata  essent,  nisi  gladius  esset  sub  gladio,  et  tanquam  inferior  reduceretur  per 
alium  in  suprema.  Nam  secundum  B.  Dionysium  lex  divinitatis  est,  infima 
per  media  in  suprema  reduci.  .  .  .  Sic  de  ecclesia  et  ecclesiastica  potestate 
veriflcatur  vaticinium  Hieremice  [Jer.  1 : 10] :  Ecce  constitui  te  hodie  super 
gentes  et  regna  et  cetera,  quce  sequuntur. 

Ergo,  si  deviat  terrena  potestas,  judicabitur  a  potestate  spirituaU ;  sed,  si 
deviat  spiritualis  minor,  a  suo  superiori ;  si  vero  suprema,  a  solo  Deo,  non 
ab  homine  poteritjudicari,  testante  Apostolo :  Spiritualis  homo  judicat  omnia, 
ipse  autem  a  nemine  judicatur.  [1  Cor.  2  : 15.]  Est  autem  hcec  anctoritas, 
etsi  data  sit  homini,  et  exerceatur  per  hominem,  non  humana,  sed  potius 
divina  potestas,  ore  divino  Petro  data,  sibique  suisque  successoribus  in  ipso 
Christo,  quern  confessus  fuit,  petra  Jlrmata,  dicente  Domino  ipsi  Petro : 
Quodcunque  ligaveris,  etc.  [Matt.  16  : 19.]  Quicunque  igitur  huic  potestati 
a  Deo  sic  ordinatce  resist  it,  Dei  ordinationi  resistit,  nisi  duo,  sicut  Mani- 
chceus,  fingat  esse  principia,  quodfalsum  et  hcereticum  judicamns,  quia,  tea- 
tante  Moyse,  non  in  principiis,  sed  in  principio  codum  Deus  creavit  et  terram. 
[Gen.  1:1.] 

Porro  subesse  Romano  Pontifici  omni  humanas  creaturce  declaramus 
dicimus,  dejlnimus  et  pronunciamus  omnino  esse  de  necessitate  salutis. 

The  most  astounding  clause  of  this  deliverance  makes  subjection  to  the 
pope  an  essential  of  salvation  for  every  creature.  Some  writers  have  made 
the  bold  attempt  to  relieve  the  language  of  this  construction,  and  refer  it  to 
princes  and  kings.  So  fair  and  sound  a  Roman  Catholic  writer  as  Funk 1 
has  advocated  this  interpretation,  alleging  in  its  favor  the  close  connection 
of  the  clause  with  the  previous  statements  through  the  particle  porro,  further- 
more, and  the  consideration  that  the  French  people  would  not  have  resented 
the  assertion  that  obedience  to  the  papacy  is  a  condition  of  salvation.  But 
the  overwhelming  majority  of  Catholic  historians  take  the  words  in  their 
natural  meaning.3  The  expression  "every  human  creature1'  would  be  a 

*In  his  Kirchengeschichtliche  Abhandlungen,  I.  483-489.  This  view  is 
also  taken  by  J.  Berchtold  :  Die  Bulle  Unam  sanctam  ihre  wahre  Bedeutung 
und  Tragweite  fur  Staat  und  Kirche,  Munich,  1887.  An  attempt  was  made 
by  Abbe*  Mury,  La  Bulle  Unam  sanctam,  in  Rev.  des  questions  histor.  1879, 
on  the  ground  of  the  bull's  stinging  affirmations  and  verbal  obscurities  to 
detect  the  hand  of  a  forger,  but  Cardinal  Hergenrbther,  Kirchengesch.,  II. 
594,  pronounces  the  genuineness  to  be  above  dispute. 

8  So  Hergenrttther-Kirsch,  Hefele-KnSpfler :  Kirchengesch. ,  p.  880,  and 
Conciliengesch.,  VI.  849  sq.  Every  Jarriter  on  Boniface  VIII.  and  Philip  the 
Fair  discusses  the  meaning  of  Boniface's  deliverance.  Among  the  latest  is 
W.  Joos :  Die  Bulle  Unam  sanctam,  Schaffhausen,  1896.  Finke  :  Aus  den 
Tagen  Bonifaz  VIII.,  p.  146  sqq.,  C-CXLVI.  Scholz :  Publizistik,  p.  197  sqq. 


§  5.      LITBEABY  ATTACKS  AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.      29 

most  unlikely  one  to  be  used  as  synonymous  with  temporal  rulers.  Boniface 
made  the  same  assertion  in  a  letter  to  the  duke  of  Savoy,  1300,  when  he 
demanded  submission  for  every  mortal,  —  omnia  anima.  -flSgidius  Colonna 
paraphrased  the  bull  in  these  words,  "the  supreme  pontiff  is  that  authority 
to  which  every  soul  must  yield  subjection."  1  That  the  mediaeval  Church 
accepted  this  construction  is  vouched  for  by  the  Fifth  Lateran  Council, 
1516,  which,  in  reaffirming  the  bull,  declared  "  it  necessary  to  salvation 
that  all  the  faithful  of  Christ  be  subject  to  the  Roman  pontiff.11 2 

§  5.   Literary  Attacks  against  the  Papacy. 

Nothing  is  more  indicative  of  the  intellectual  change  go- 
ing on  in  Western  Europe  in  the  fourteenth  century  than  the 
tractarian  literature  of  the  time  directed  against  claims  made 
by  the  papacy.  Three  periods  may  be  distinguished.  In  the 
first  belong  the  tracts  called  forth  by  the  struggle  of  Philip 
the  Fair  and  Boniface  VIII.,  with  the  year  1302  for  its  centre. 
Their  distinguishing  feature  is  the  attack  made  upon  the 
pope's  jurisdiction  in  temporal  affairs.  The  second  period 
opens  during  the  pontificate  of  John  XXII.  and  extends  from 
1320-1340.  Here  the  pope's  spiritual  supremacy  was  at- 
tacked. The  most  prominent  writer  of  the  time  was  Mar- 
siglius  of  Padua.  The  third  period  begins  with  the  papal 
schism  toward  the  end  of  the  fourteenth  century.  The 
writers  of  this  period  emphasized  the  need  of  reform  in  the 
Church  and  discussed  the  jurisdiction  of  general  councils  as 
superior  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  pope.8 

The  publicists  of  the  age  of  Boniface  VIII.  and  Philip  the 
Fair  now  defended,  now  openly  attacked  the  mediaeval  theory 
of  the  pope's  lordship  over  kings  and  nations.  The  body  of 
literature  they  produced  was  unlike  anything  which  Europe 

1  Summus  pontifex  .  .  .  est  ilia  potestas  cui  omnis  anima  debet  esse 
subjecta. 

2  De  necessitate  esse  salutis  omnes  Christi  fldeles  romam  pontiflei  subesse. 
The  writer  in  Wetzer-Welte,  XII.  229  sqq.,  pronounces  the  view  impossible 
which  limits  the  meaning  of  the  clause  to  temporal  rulers. 

8 1  have  followed  closely  in  this  chapter  the  clear  and  learned  presentations 
of  Richard  Scholz  and  Finke  and  the  documents  they  print  as  well  as  the 
documents  given  by  Goldast.  See  below.  A  most  useful  contribution  to  the 
study  of  the  age  of  Boniface  VIII.  and  the  papal  theories  current  at  the  time 
would  be  the  publication  of  the  tracts  mentioned  in  this  section  and  others 
in  a  single  volume. 


30  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

had  seen  before.  In  the  conflict  between  Gregory  IX.  and 
Frederick  II.,  Europe  was  filled  with  the  epistolary  appeals  of 
pope  and  emperor,  who  sought  each  to  make  good  his  case 
before  the  court  of  European  public  opinion,  and  more  espe- 
cially of  the  princes  and  prelates.  The  controversy  of  this 
later  time  was  participated  in  by  a  number  of  writers  who 
represented  the  views  of  an  intelligent  group  of  clerics  and 
laymen.  They  employed  a  vigorous  style  adapted  to  make 
an  impression  on  the  public  mind. 

Stirred  by  the  haughty  assertions  of  Boniface,  a  new  class 
of  men,  the  jurisconsults,  entered  the  lists  and  boldly  called 
in  question  the  old  order  represented  by  the  policy  of  Hilde- 
brand  and  Innocent  III.  They  had  studied  in  the  universi- 
ties, especially  in  the  University  of  Paris,  and  some  of  them, 
like  Dubois,  were  laymen.  The  decision  of  the  Bologna 
jurists  on  the  field  of  Roncaglia  was  reasserted  with  new 
arguments  and  critical  freedom,  and  a  step  was  taken  far  in 
advance  of  that  decision  which  asserted  the  independence  of 
the  emperor.  The  empire  was  set  aside  as  an  antiquated  insti- 
tution, and  France  and  other  states  were  pronounced  sovereign 
within  their  own  limits  and  immune  from  papal  dominion  over 
their  temporal  affairs.  The  principles  of  human  law  and  the 
natural  rights  of  man  were  arrayed  against  dogmatic  asser- 
tions based  upon  unbalanced  and  false  interpretations  of 
Scripture.  The  method  of  scholastic  sophistry  was  largely 
replaced  by  an  appeal  to  common  sense  and  regard  for  the 
practical  needs  of  society.  The  authorities  used  to  establish 
the  new  theory  were  Aristotle,  the  Scriptures  and  historic 
facts.  These  writers  were  John  the  Baptists  preparing  the 
way  for  the  more  clearly  outlined  and  advanced  views  of  Mar- 
siglius  of  Padua  and  Ockam,  who  took  the  further  step  of 
questioning  or  flatly  denying  the  pope's  spiritual  supremacy, 
and  for  the  still  more  advanced  and  more  spiritual  appeals  of 
Wyclif  and  Luther.  A  direct  current  of  influence  can  be 
traced  back  from  the  Protestant  Reformation  to  the  anti-papal 
tracts  of  the  first  decade  of  the  fourteenth  century. 

The  tract  writers  of  the  reign  of  Philip  the  Fair,  who  de- 
fended the  traditional  theory  of  the  pope's  absolute  suprem- 


§  5.      LITERARY  ATTACKS  AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.       31 

acy  in  all  matters,  were  the  Italians  -32gidius  Colonna,  James 
of  Viterbo,  Henry  of  Cremona,  and  Augustinus  Triumphus. 
The  writers  who  attacked  the  papal  claim  to  temporal  power 
are  divided  into  two  groups.  To  the  first  belongs  Dante,  who 
magnified  the  empire  and  the  station  of  the  emperor  as  the 
supreme  ruler  over  the  temporal  affairs  of  men.  The  men  of 
the  second  group  were  associated  more  or  less  closely  with 
the  French  court  and  were,  for  the  most  part,  Frenchmen. 
They  called  in  question  the  authority  of  the  emperor.  Among 
their  leaders  were  John  of  Paris  and  Peter  Dubois.  In  a 
number  of  cases  their  names  are  forgotten  or  uncertain,  while 
theii*  tracts  have  survived.  It  will  be  convenient  first  to  take 
up  the  theory  of  Dante,  and  then  to  present  the  views  of  papal 
and  anti-papal  writings  which  were  evidently  called  forth  by 
the  struggle  started  by  Boniface. 

Dante  was  in  nowise  associated  with  the  court  of  Philip 
the  Fair,  and  seems  to  have  been  moved  to  write  his  treatise 
on  government,  the  De  monarchic  by  general  considerations 
and  not  by  any  personal  sympathy  with  the  French  king. 
His  theory  embodies  views  in  direct  antagonism  to  those 
promulged  in  Boniface's  bull  Unam  sanctam^  and  Thomas 
Aquinas,  whose  theological  views  Dante  followed,  is  here 
set  aside.1  The  independence  and  sovereignty  of  the  civil 
estate  is  established  by  arguments  drawn  from  reason, 
Aristotle,  and  the  Scriptures.  In  making  good  his  position, 
the  author  advances  three  propositions,  devoting  a  chapter  to 
each :  (1)  Universal  monarchy  or  empire,  for  the  terms  are 
used  synonymously,  is  necessary.  (2)  This  monarchy  be- 
longs to  the  Roman  people.  (3)  It  was  directly  bequeathed 
to  the  Romans  by  God,  and  did  not  come  through  the  media- 
tion of  the  Church. 

1  The  date  of  the  De  monarchia  is  a  matter  of  uncertainty.  There  are  no 
references  in  the  treatise  to  Dante's  own  personal  affairs  or  the  contemporary 
events  of  Europe  to  give  any  clew.  Witte,  the  eminent  Dante  student,  put 
it  in  1301;  so  also  R.  W.  Church,  on  the  ground  that  Dante  makes  no  refer- 
ence to  his  exile,  which  began  in  1301.  The  tendency  now  is  to  follow 
Boccaccio,  who  connected  the  treatise  with  the  election  of  Henry  VII.  or 
Henry's  journey  to  Rome,  1811.  The  treatise  would  then  be  a  manifesto  for 
the  restoration  of  the  empire  to  its  original  authority.  For  a  discussion  of 
the  date,  see  Henry:  Dante's  de  monarchia,  XXXII.  sqq. 


82  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

The  interests  of  society,  so  the  argument  runs,  require  an 
impartial  arbiter,  and  only  a  universal  monarch  bound  by  no 
local  ties  can  be  impartial.  A  universal  monarchy  will  bring 
peace,  the  peace  of  which  the  angels  sang  on  the  night  of 
Christ's  birth,  and  it  will  bring  liberty,  God's  greatest  gift 
to  man.1  Democracy  reduces  men  to  slavery.  The  Romans 
are  the  noblest  people  and  deserve  the  right  to  rule.  This 
is  evident  from  the  fine  manhood  of  -33neas,  their  progeni- 
tor,2 from  the  evident  miracles  which  God  wrought  in  their 
history  and  from  their  world-wide  dominion.  This  right 
to  rule  was  established  under  the  Christian  dispensation  by 
Christ  himself,  who  submitted  to  Roman  jurisdiction  in  con- 
senting to  be  born  under  Augustus  and  to  suffer  under  Ti- 
berius. It  was  attested  by  the  Church  when  Paul  said  to 
Festus,  "I  stand  at  Caesar's  judgment  seat,  where  I  ought  to 
be  judged,"  Acts  25 : 10.  There  are  two  governing  agents 
necessary  to  society,  the  pope  and  the  emperor.  The  emperor 
is  supreme  in  temporal  things  and  is  to  guide  men  to  eternal 
life  in  accordance  with  the  truths  of  revelation.  Neverthe- 
less, the  emperor  should  pay  the  pope  the  reverence  which  a 
first-born  son  pays  to  his  father,  such  reverence  as  Charle- 
magne paid  to  Leo  III.8 

In  denying  the  subordination  of  the  civil  power,  Dante 
rejects  the  figure  comparing  the  spiritual  and  temporal 
powers  to  the  sun  and  moon,4  and  the  arguments  drawn  from 
the  alleged  precedence  of  Levi  over  Judah  on  the  ground  of 

1  Libertus  est  maximum  donum  humane^  natures  a  Deo  collatum,  1. 14.     It 
is  a  striking  coincidence  that  Leo  XIII.  began  his  encyclical  of  June  20, 
1888,  with  these  similar  words,  libertas  praestantissimum  natures  donum, 
"  liberty,  the  most  excellent  gift  of  nature/1 

2  ii.  3.  Dante  appeals  to  the  testimony  of  Virgil,  his  guide  through  hell  and 
purgatory.    He  also  quotes  Virgil's  proud  lines  :  — 

"Tw  regere  imperil  populos,  Romans,  memento. 
HCBC  tibi  erunt  artes,  pacisque  imponere  morem 
Parcere  subjectis  et  debellare  superbos." 

Roman,  remember  that  it  was  given  to  thee  to  rule  the  nations.    Thine  it 
is  to  establish  peace,  spare  subject  peoples  and  war  against  the  proud. 
•  ii.  12,  13 ;  iii.  13, 16. 

4  This  last  section  of  the  book  has  the  heading  auctoritatem  imperil  im- 
mediate dependere  a  Deo. 


§  5.      LITERARY  ATTACKS  AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.      33 

the  priority  of  Levi's  birth  ;  from  the  oblation  of  the  Magi 
at  the  manger  and  from  the  sentence  passed  upon  Saul  by 
Samuel.  He  referred  the  two  swords  both  to  spiritual  func- 
tions. Without  questioning  the  historical  occurrence,  he  set 
aside  Constantino's  donation  to  Sylvester  on  the  ground  that 
the  emperor  no  more  had  the  right  to  transfer  his  empire  in 
the  West  than  he  had  to  commit  suicide.  Nor  had  the  pope 
a  right  to  accept  the  gift.1  In  the  Inferno  Dante  applied  to 
that  transaction  the  oft-quoted  lines  :  2 — 

"  Ah,  Constantino,  of  how  much  ill  was  cause, 
Not  thy  conversion,  but  those  rich  domains 
Which  the  first  wealthy  pope  received  of  thee." 

The  Florentine  poet's  universal  monarchy  has  remained  an 
ideal  unrealized,  like  the  republic  of  the  Athenian  philoso- 
pher.8 Conception  of  popular  liberty  as  it  is  conceived  in  this 
modern  age,  Dante  had  none.  Nevertheless,  he  laid  down  the 
important  principle  that  the  government  exists  for  the  peo- 
ple, and  not  the  people  for  the  government.4 

The  treatise  De  monarchia  was  burnt  as  heretical,  1329,  by 
order  of  John  XXII.  and  put  on  the  Index  by  the  Council  of 
Trent.  In  recent  times  it  has  aided  the  Italian  patriots  in 
their  work  of  unifying  Italy  and  separating  politics  from  the 
Church  according  toCavour's  maxim,  "  a  free  Church  in  a  free 
state." 

In  the  front  rank  of  the  champions  of  the  temporal  power 
of  the  papacy  stood  J2gidius  Colonna,  called  also  ^Egidius 
Roman  us,  1247-1316. 6  He  was  an  Augustinian,  and  rose  to 

1  iii.  10,  Constantinus  alienare  non  poterat  imperil  dignitatem  nee  ecclesia 
recipere. 

8  xix.  115  sqq.        Ahi,  Constantly  di  quanto  malfu  matre, 
Non  la  tua  conversion,  ma  quella  dote 
Che  da  te  prese  il  primo  ricco  padre  ! 

In  the  Purgatorio,  xvi.  106-112,  Dante  deplores  the  union  of  the  crozier 
and  the  sword. 

8  With  reference  to  the  approaching  termination  of  the  emperor's  influence 
in  Italian  affairs,  Bryce,  ch.  XV.,  sententiously  says  that  Dante's  De  monar- 
chia was  an  epitaph,  not  a  prophecy. 

*  Non  cives  propter  consults  nee  gens  propter  regem  Bed  e  converso  con- 
sules  propter  cives,  rex  propter  gentem,  iii.  14. 

6  Scholz,  pp.  32-129. 


84  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

be  general  of  his  order.  He  became  famous  as  a  theological 
teacher  and,  in  1287,  his  order  placed  his  writings  in  all  its 
schools.1  In  1295  he  was  made  archbishop  of  Bourges,  Boni- 
face setting  aside  in  his  favor  the  cleric  nominated  by  Coe- 
lestine.  JEgidius  participated  in  the  council  in  Rome,  1301, 
which  Philip  the  Fair  forbade  the  French  prelates  to  attend. 
He  was  an  elaborate  writer,  and  in  1304  no  less  than  12  of  his 
theological  works  and  14  of  his  philosophical  writings  were 
in  use  in  the  University  of  Paris. 

The  tract  by  which  ^Egidius  is  chiefly  known  is  his  Power 
of  the  Supreme  Pontiff — De  ecclesiastica  sive  de  summi  pon- 
tificis  potentate.  It  was  the  chief  work  of  its  time  in  defence 
of  the  papacy,  and  seems  to  have  been  called  forth  by  the 
Roman  Council  and  to  have  been  written  in  1301. 2  It  was 
dedicated  to  Boniface  VIII.  Its  main  positions  are  the 
following :  — 

The  pope  judges  all  things  and  is  judged  by  no  man,  1 
Cor.  2  : 15.  To  him  belongs  plenary  power,  plenitude  potet- 
tatis.  This  power  is  without  measure,  without  number,  and 
without  weight.8  It  extends  over  all  Christians.  The  pope 
is  above  all  laws  and  in  matters  of  faith  infallible.  He  is  like 
the  sea  which  fills  all  vessels,  like  the  sun  which,  as  the  uni- 
versally active  principle,  sends  his  rays  into  all  things.  The 
priesthood  existed  before  royalty.  Abel  and  Noah,  priests, 
preceded  Nimrod,  who  was  the  first  king.  As  the  government 
of  the  world  is  one  and  centres  in  one  ruler,  God,  so  in  the 
affairs  of  the  militant  Church  there  can  be  only  one  source 
of  power,  one  supreme  government,  one  head  to  whom  belongs 

1  Chartul.  Univ.  Paris.,  II.  12. 

3  Jourdain,  in  1858,  was  the  first  to  call  attention  to  the  manuscript,  and 
Kraus  the  first  to  give  a  summary  of  its  positions  in  the  CEsterr.  Viertel- 
jahrsschrift,  Vienna,  1862,  pp.  1-33.  Among  -ffigidius'  other  tracts  is  the 
"  Rule  of  Princes,'1  —  De  regimine  principum  — 1286,  printed  1473.  It  was  at 
once  translated  into  French  and  Italian  and  also  into  Spanish,  Portuguese, 
English,  and  even  Hebrew.  The  "  Pope's  Abdication  "  —  De  renunciatione 
papa  sive  apologia  pro  Bonifacio  VIII.  — 1297,  was  a  reply  to  the  manifesto 
of  the  Colonna,  contesting  a  pope's  right  to  resign  his  office.  For  a  list  of 
-fflgidius'  writings,  see  art.  Colonna  ^Egidius,  in  Wetzer-Welte,  III.  667-671. 
See  Scholz,  pp.  46, 126. 

8  JEgidius  quotes  the  Wisdom  of  Solomon,  2 : 21. 


§  5.      LITERARY  ATTACKS  AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.      85 

the  plenitude  of  power.  This  is  the  supreme  pontiff.  The 
priesthood  and  the  papacy  are  of  immediate  divine  appoint- 
ment. Earthly  kingdoms,  except  as  they  have  been  estab- 
lished by  the  priesthood,  owe  their  origin  to  usurpation,  rob- 
bery, and  other  forms  of  violence.1  In  these  views  JEgidius 
followed  Augustine :  De  civitate,  IV.  4,  and  Gregory  VII. 
The  state,  however,  he  declared  to  be  necessary  as  a  means 
through  which  the  Church  works  to  accomplish  its  divinely 
appointed  ends. 

In  the  second  part  of  his  tract,  jEgidius  proves  that,  in 
spite  of  Numb.  18 :  20,  21,  and  Luke  10 : 4,  the  Church  has 
the  right  to  possess  worldly  goods.  The  Levites  received 
cities.  In  fact,  all  temporal  goods  are  under  the  control  of  the 
Church.2  As  the  soul  rules  the  body,  so  the  pope  rules  over 
all  temporal  matters.  The  tithe  is  a  perpetual  obligation. 
No  one  has  a  right  to  the  possession  of  a  single  acre  of  ground 
or  a  vineyard  without  the  Church's  permission  and  unless 
he  be  baptized. 

The  fulness  of  power,  residing  in  the  pope,  gives  him  the 
right  to  appoint  to  all  benefices  in  Christendom,  but,  as  God 
chooses  to  rule  through  the  laws  of  nature,  so  the  pope  rules 
through  the  laws  of  the  Church,  but  he  is  not  bound  by  them. 
He  may  himself  be  called  the  Church.  For  the  pope's  power 
is  spiritual,  heavenly  and  divine.  -52gidius  was  used  by  his 
successors,  James  of  Viterbo,  Augustinus  Triumphus  and 
Alvarus,  and  also  by  John  of  Paris  and  Gerson  who  contested 
some  of  his  main  positions.8 

The  second  of  these  writers,  defending  the  position  of  Boni- 
face VIII.,  was  James  of  Viterbo,4  d.  1308.  He  also  was  an 
Italian,  belonged  to  the  Augustinian  order,  and  gained  promi- 
nence as  a  teacher  in  Paris.  In  1302  he  was  appointed  by 
Boniface  archbishop  of  Beneventum,  and  a  few  months  later 
archbishop  of  Naples.  His  Christian  Government  —  De  re- 
ffimine  christiano  —  is,  after  the  treatise  of  JEgidius,  the  most 

1  See  Scholz,  p.  96  sqq.  This  author  says  the  de  regimine  principum  of 
uEgidius  presents  a  different  view,  and  following  Aristotle,  derives  the  state 
from  the  social  principle.  8  Sub  dominio  et  potentate  ecclesias. 

8  Scholz,  p.  124.  *  See  Finke,  pp.  163-166  j  Scholz,  pp.  129-163. 


86  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

comprehensive  of  the  papal  tracts.  It  also  was  dedicated  to 
Boniface  VIII.,  who  is  addressed  as  "the  holy  lord  of  the 
kings  of  the  earth."  The  author  distinctly  says  he  was  led 
to  write  by  the  attacks  made  upon  the  papal  prerogative. 

To  Christ's  vicar,  James  says,  royalty  and  priesthood, 
regnum  et  sacerdotium,  belong.  Temporal  authority  was  not 
for  the  first  time  conferred  on  him  when  Constantino  gave 
Sylvester  the  dominion  of  the  West.  Constantine  did  noth- 
ing more  than  confirm  a  previous  right  derived  from  Christ, 
when  he  said,  "  whatsoever  ye  shall  bind  on  earth  shall  be 
bound  in  heaven."  Priests  are  kings,  and  the  pope  is  the 
king  of  kings,  both  in  mundane  and  spiritual  matters.1  He 
is  the  bishop  of  the  earth,  the  supreme  lawgiver.  Every  soul 
must  be  subject  to  him  in  order  to  salvation.2  By  reason  of 
his  fulness  of  power,  the  supreme  pontiff  can  act  according  to 
law  or  against  it,  as  he  chooses.8 

Henry  of  Cassaloci,  or  Henry  of  Cremona,  as  he  is  usually 
called  from  his  Italian  birthplace,  d.  1312,  is  mentioned,  con- 
trary to  the  custom  of  the  age,  by  name  by  John  of  Paris,  as 
the  author  of  the  tract,  The  Power  of  the  Pope  —  De  po- 
testate  papce.*  He  was  a  distinguished  authority  in  canon 
law  and  consulted  by  Boniface.  He  was  appointed,  1302,  a 
member  of  the  delegation  to  carry  to  Philip  the  Fair  the  two 
notorious  bulls,  Salvador  mundi  and  Ausculta  fili.  The  same 
year  he  was  appointed  bishop  of  Reggio.6  The  papal  de- 
fenders were  well  paid. 

Henry  began  his  tract  with  the  words  of  Matt.  27  :  18, 
"All  power  is  given  unto  me,"  and  declared  the  attack 

1  Scholz,  pp.  135, 145, 147.  These  two  prerogatives  are  called  potestas  ordi- 
nis  and  potestas  jurisdictionis.  2  Scholz,  p.  148. 

8  Potest  agere  etsecundum  leges  quasponit  et  prater  ill  as,  ubi  opportunism 
essejudicaverit.  Finke,  p.  166. 

*  Finke,  pp.  166-170 ;  Scholz,  pp.  162-165.  Finke  was  the  first  to  use  this 
tract.  Scholz  describes  two  MSS.  in  the  National  Library  of  Paris,  and 
gives  the  tract  entire,  pp.  459-471. 

6  A  contemporary  notes  that  the  consistory  was  reminded  that  the  nominee 
was  the  author  of  the  De  potestate  papce,  "  a  book  which  proves  that  the  pope 
was  overlord  in  temporal  as  well  as  spiritual  matters.*1  Scholz,  p.  155.  The 
tract  was  written,  as  Scholz  thinks,  not  later  than  1301,  or  earlier  than  1208, 
as  it  quotes  the  Liber  textu*. 


§  5.      LITEBAEY  ATTACKS   AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.      37 

against  the  pope's  temporal  jurisdiction  over  the  whole  earth 
a  matter  of  recent  date,  and  made  by  "  sophists  "  who  de- 
served death.  Up  to  that  time  no  one  had  made  such  denial. 
He  attempts  to  make  out  his  fundamental  thesis  from  Scrip- 
ture, the  Fathers,  canon  law,  and  reason.  God  at  first  ruled 
through  Noah,  the  patriarchs,  Melchizedec,  and  Moses,  who 
were  priests  and  kings  at  the  same  time.  Did  not  Moses 
punish  Pharaoh  ?  Christ  carried  both  swords.  Did  he  not 
drive  out  the  money-changers  and  wear  the  crown  of  thorns  ? 
To  him  the  power  was  given  to  judge  the  world.  John  5  :  22. 
The  same  power  was  entailed  upon  Peter  and  his  successors. 
As  for  the  state,  it  bears  to  the  Church  the  relation  of  the 
moon  to  the  sun,  and  the  emperor  has  only  such  power  as  the 
pope  is  ready  to  confer.  Henry  also  affirms  that  Constantino's 
donation  established  no  right,  but  confirmed  what  the  pope 
already  possessed  by  virtue  of  heavenly  gift. l  The  pope  trans- 
ferred the  empire  to  Charlemagne,  and  Innocent  IV.  asserted 
the  papal  supremacy  over  kings  by  deposing  Frederick  II. 
If  in  early  and  later  times  the  persons  of  popes  were  abused, 
this  was  not  because  they  lacked  supreme  authority  in  the 
earth a  or  were  in  anywise  subject  to  earthly  princes.  No 
emperor  can  legally  exercise  imperial  functions  without  papal 
consecration.  When  Christ  said,  "  my  kingdom  is  not  of  this 
world,"  he  meant  nothing  more  than  that  the  world  refused 
to  obey  him.  As  for  the  passage,  "  render  to  Caesar  the  things 
which  are  Caesar's,"  Christ  was  under  no  obligation  to  give 
tribute  to  the  emperor,  and  the  children  of  the  kingdom  are 
free,  as  Augustine,  upon  the  basis  of  Matt.  27 :  26  sq.,  said. 

The  main  work  of  another  defender  of  the  papal  preroga- 
tives, Augustinus  Triumphus,  belongs  to  the  next  period.8 

An  intermediate  position  between  these  writers  and  the 
anti-papal  publicists  was  taken  by  the  Cardinals  Colonna  and 
their  immediate  supporters.4  In  their  zeal  against  Boniface 

1  Constantinus  non  dedit  sed  recognovit  ab  ecclesia  se  tenere  —  confltetur 
se  ab  ecclesia  illud  tenere.    See  Scholz,  p.  467. 
8  Non  defectus  juris ',  sed  potential. 

8  Four  of  his  smaller  tracts  are  summarized  by  Scholz,  pp.  172-189.  See  §  8. 
*  Scholz,  pp.  198-207. 


38  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

VIII.  they  questioned  the  absolute  power  of  the  Church  in 
temporal  concerns,  and  placed  the  supreme  spiritual  authority 
in  the  college  of  cardinals,  with  the*  pope  as  its  head. 

Among  the  advanced  writers  of  the  age  was  William 
Durante,  d.  1331,  an  advocate  of  Gallicanism.1  He  was  ap- 
pointed bishop  of  Mende  before  he  had  reached  the  canonical 
age.  He  never  came  under  the  condemnation  of  the  Church. 
In  a  work  composed  at  the  instance  of  Clement  V.  on  general 
councils  and  the  reformation  of  Church  abuses,  De  modo  ffeneralis 
concilii  celebrandi  et  corruptelis  in  ecclesiis  reformandis,  he  de- 
manded a  reformation  of  the  Church  in  head  and  members,2  us- 
ing for  the  first  time  this  expression  which  was  so  often  employed 
in  a  later  age.  He  made  the  pope  one  of  the  order  of  bishops  on 
all  of  whom  was  conferred  equally  the  power  to  bind  and  to 
loose.8  The  bishops  are  not  the  pope's  assistants,  the  view 
held  by  Innocent  III.,  but  agents  directly  appointed  by  God 
with  independent  jurisdiction.  The  pope  may  not  act  out 
of  harmony  with  the  canons  of  the  early  Church  except  with 
the  approval  of  a  general  council.  When  new  measures  are 
contemplated,  a  general  council  should  be  convened,  and  one 
should  be  called  every  ten  years.4 

Turning  now  to  the  writers  who  contested  the  pope's  right 
to  temporal  authority  over  the  nations,  we  find  that  while  the 
most  of  them  were  clerics,  all  of  them  were  jurists.  It  is 
characteristic  that  besides  appealing  to  Aristotle,  the  Scrip- 
tures, and  the  canon  law,  they  also  appealed  to  the  Roman 
law.  We  begin  with  several  pamphlets  whose  authorship  is 
a  matter  of  uncertainty. 

The  Twofold  Prerogative  —  Qucestio  in  utramque  partem 
—  was  probably  written  in  1302,  and  by  a  Frenchman.6  The 

1  Scholz,  pp.  208-223. 

2  Tarn  in  capite  quam  in  membris.    Scholz,  pp.  211,  220.    The  tract  was 
reprinted  at  the  time  of  the  Council  of  Trent  and  dedicated  to  Paul  III. 

3  The  words  Matt.  10  : 19,  were  addressed  to  the  whole  Church,  he  says, 
and  not  to  Peter  alone. 

*  Scholz,  p.  214. 

6  This  date  is  made  very  probable  by  Scholz,  p.  226  sqq.  Kiezler,  p.  141, 
wrongly  put  it  down  to  1864-1880.  Scheffer-Boichorst  showed  that  the 
author  spoke  of  the  canonization  of  Louis  IX.,  1297,  as  having  occurred  "  in 


§  5.       LITERARY   ATTACKS   AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.       39 

tract  clearly  sets  forth  that  the  two  functions,  the  spiritual 
and  the  temporal,  are  distinct,  and  that  the  pope  has  plenary 
power  only  in  the  spiritual  realm.  It  is  evident  that  they 
are  not  united  in  one  person,  from  Christ's  refusal  of  the 
office  of  king  and  from  the  law  prohibiting  the  Levites  hold- 
ing worldly  possessions.  Canon  law  and  Roman  law  rec- 
ognized the  independence  of  the  civil  power.  Both  estates 
are  of  God.  At  best  the  pope's  temporal  authority  extends 
to  the  patrimony  of  Peter.  The  empire  is  one  among  the 
powers,  without  authority  over  other  states.  As  for  the 
king  of  France,  he  would  expose  himself  to  the  penalty  of 
death  if  he  were  to  recognize  the  pope  as  overlord.1 

The  same  positions  are  taken  in  the  tract,2  The  Papal 
Power,  —  Qucestio  de  potestate  papce.  The  author  insists  that 
temporal  jurisdiction  is  incompatible  with  the  pope's  office. 
He  uses  the  figure  of  the  body  to  represent  the  Church,  giv- 
ing it  a  new  turn.  Christ  is  the  head.  The  nerves  and  veins 
are  officers  in  the  Church  and  state.  They  depend  directly 
upon  Christ,  the  head.  The  heart  is  the  king.  The  pope  is 
not  even  called  the  head.  The  soul  is  not  mentioned.  The 
old  application  of  the  figure  of  the  body  and  the  soul,  repre- 
senting respectively  the  regnum  and  the  sacerdotium,  is  set 
aside.  The  pope  is  a  spiritual  father,  not  the  lord  over 
Christendom.  Moses  was  a  temporal  ruler  and  Aaron  was 
priest.  The  functions  and  the  functionaries  were  distinct. 
At  best,  the  donation  of  Constantine  had  no  reference  to 
France,  for  France  was  distinct  from  the  empire.  The  depo- 
sition of  Childerich  by  Pope  Zacharias  established  no  right, 
for  all  that  Zacharias  did  was,  as  a  wise  counsellor,  to  give  the 
barons  advice. 

A  third  tract,  one  of  the  most  famous  pieces  of  this  litera- 

our  days,"  and  that  he  quoted  the  Liber  sextus,  1298,  as  having  recently 
appeared.  The  tract  is  given  in  Goldast :  Monarchia,  II.  196  sqq. 

1  Scholz,  p.  239.    On  Feb.  23,  1302,  Philip  made  his  sons  swear  never  to 
acknowledge  any  one  but  God  as  overlord. 

2  It  is  bound  up  in  MS.  with  the  former  tract  and  with  the  work  of  John 
of  Paris.    It  is  printed  in  Dupuy,  pp.  003-083.    It  has  been  customary  to 
regard  Peter  Dubois  as  the  author,  but  Scholz,  p.  257,  gives  reasons  against 
this  view. 


40  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

ture,  the  Disputation  between  a  Cleric  and  a  Knight,1  was 
written  to  defend  the  sovereignty  of  the  state  and  its  right 
to  levy  taxes  upon  Church  property.  The  author  maintains 
that  the  king  of  France  is  in  duty  bound  to  see  that  Church 
property  is  administered  according  to  the  intent  for  which 
it  was  given.  As  he  defends  the  Church  against  foreign 
foes,  so  he  has  the  right  to  put  the  Church  under  tribute. 

In  the  publicist,  John  of  Paris,  d.  1306,  we  have  one  of  the 
leading  minds  of  the  age.2  He  was  a  Dominican,  and  enjoyed 
great  fame  as  a  preacher  and  master.  On  June  26,  1303,  he 
joined  132  other  Parisian  Dominicans  in  signing  a  document 
calling  for  a  general  council,  which  the  university  had  openly 
favored  five  days  before.8  His  views  of  the  Lord's  Supper 
brought  upon  him  the  charge  of  heresy,  and  he  was  forbidden 
to  give  lectures  at  the  university.4  He  appealed  to  Clement 
V.,  but  died  before  he  could  get  a  hearing. 

John's  chief  writing  was  the  tract  on  the  Authority  of  the 
Pope  and  King,  —  De  potentate  regia  et  papalif  —  which  al- 
most breathes  the  atmosphere  of  modern  times. 

John  makes  a  clear  distinction  between  the  "  body  of  the 
faithful,"  which  is  the  Church,  and  the  "  body  of  the  clergy."  6 

1  Disputatio  inter  clericum  et  militem.  It  was  written  during  the  conflict 
between  Boniface  and  Philip,  and  not  by  Ockam,  to  whom  it  was  formerly 
ascribed.  Recently  Riezler,  p.  145,  has  ascribed  it  to  Peter  Dubois.  It  was 
first  printed,  1475,  and  is  reprinted  in  Goldast:  Monarchia,  I.  13  sqq.  MSS. 
are  found  in  Paris,  Oxford,  Cambridge,  and  Prag.  See  Scholz,  p.  336  sqq. 
An  English  translation  appeared  with  the  following  title  :  A  dialogue  betwene 
a  knight  and  a  clerke  concerning  the  Power  Spiritual  and  temporal,  by 
William  Ockham,  the  great  philosopher,  in  English  and  Latin,  London,  1540. 

*  Finke,  pp.  170-177  ;  Scholz,  pp.  275-333. 
«  Chartul.  Univ.  Paris.,  II.  102. 

4  De  mode  existendi  corporis  Christi  in  sacramento  altaris.  Chartul.  II. 
120. 

a  First  printed  in  Paris,  1506,  and  is  found  in  Goldast,  II.  108  sqq.  For  the 
writings  ascribed  to  John,  see  Scholz,  p.  284  sq.  Finke,  p.  172,  says,  tin  ge- 
sundes  beinahe  modernes  Empflnden  zeichnet  ihn  aus.  His  tract  belongs  to 
1302-1303.  So  Scholz  and  Finke.  John  writes  as  though  Boniface  were  still 
living.  He  quotes  "  the  opinions  of  certain  moderns  "  and  Henry  of  Cremona 
by  name.  The  last  chapter  of  John's  tract  is  largely  made  up  of  excerpts  from 
JEgidius1  De  renuntiatione  papa.  Scholz,  p.  291,  thinks  it  probable  that 
Dante  used  John's  tract. 

•  Congregatio  fldelium  .  .  .  congregatio  clericorum. 


§  5.      LITERARY   ATTACKS  AGAINST  THE  PAPACY.      41 

The  Church  has  its  unity  in  Christ,  who  established  the  two 
estates,  spiritual  and  temporal.  They  are  the  same  in  origin, 
but  distinguished  on  earth.  The  pope  has  the  right  to  pun- 
ish moral  offences,  but  only  with  spiritual  punishments.  The 
penalties  of  death,  imprisonment,  and  fines,  he  has  no  right 
to  impose.  Christ  had  no  worldly  jurisdiction,  and  the  pope 
should  keep  clear  of  "  Herod's  old  error." l  Constantino  had 
no  right  to  confer  temporal  power  on  Sylvester.  John  ad- 
duced 42  reasons  urged  in  favor  of  the  pope's  omnipotence  in 
temporal  affairs  and  offers  a  refutation  for  each  of  them. 

As  for  the  pope's  place  in  the  Church,  the  pope  is  the  rep- 
resentative of  the  ecclesiastical  body,  not  its  lord.  The 
Church  may  call  him  to  account.  If  the  Church  were  to  elect 
representatives  to  act  with  the  supreme  pontiff,  we  would  have 
the  best  of  governments.  As  things  are,  the  cardinals  are  his 
advisers  and  may  admonish  him  and,  in  case  he  persists  in  his 
error,  they  may  call  to  their  aid  the  temporal  arm.  The  pope 
may  be  deposed  by  an  emperor,  as  was  actually  the  case  when 
three  popes  were  deposed  by  Henry  III.  The  final  seat  of 
ecclesiastical  authority  is  the  general  council.  It  may  depose 
a  pope.  Valid  grounds  of  deposition  are  insanity,  heresy,  per- 
sonal incompetence  and  abuse  of  the  Church's  property. 

Following  Aristotle  and  Thomas  Aquinas,  John  derived  the 
state  from  the  family  and  not  from  murder  and  other  acts  of 
violence.3  It  is  a  community  organized  for  defence  and  bodily 
well-being.  With  other  jurists,  he  regarded  the  empire  as  an 
antiquated  institution  and,  if  it  continues  to  exist,  it  is  on  a 
par  with  the  monarchies,  not  above  them.  Climate  and  geo- 
graphical considerations  make  different  monarchies  necessary, 
and  they  derive  their  authority  from  God.  Thus  John  and 
Dante,  while  agreeing  as  to  the  independence  of  the  state, 
differ  as  to  the  seat  where  secular  power  resides.  Dante 
placed  it  in  a  universal  empire,  John  of  Paris  in  separate 
monarchies. 

The  boldest  and  most  advanced  of  these  publicists,  Pierre 
Dubois,8  was  a  layman,  probably  a  Norman,  and  called  him- 

1  Scholz,  p.  316.  *  Finke,  p.  72 ;  Scholz,  p.  824. 

•  See  Renan  :  Hist.  LM.  XXVI.  471-686 ;  Scholz,  pp.  374-444. 


42  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

self  a  royal  attorney.1  As  a  delegate  to  the  national  council 
in  Paris,  April,  1302,  he  represented  Philip's  views.  He  was 
living  as  late  as  1321.  In  a  number  of  tracts  he  supported  the 
contention  of  the  French  monarch  against  Boniface  VIII.2 
France  is  independent  of  the  empire,  and  absolutely  sovereign 
in  all  secular  matters.  The  French  king  is  the  successor  of 
Charlemagne.  The  pope  is  the  moral  teacher  of  mankind, 
"  the  light  of  the  world,"  but  he  has  no  jurisdiction  in  tem- 
poral affairs.  It  is  his  function  to  care  for  souls,  to  stop 
wars,  to  exercise  oversight  over  the  clergy,  but  his  jurisdic- 
tion extends  no  farther. 

The  pope  and  clergy  are  given  to  worldliness  and  self-in- 
dulgence. Boniface  is  a  heretic.  The  prelates  squander  the 
Church's  money  in  wars  and  litigations,  prefer  the  atmosphere 
of  princely  courts,  and  neglect  theology  and  the  care  of  souls. 
The  avarice  of  the  curia  and  the  pope  leads  them  to  scandalous 
simony  and  nepotism.8  Constantino's  donation  marked  the 
change  to  worldliness  among  the  clergy.  It  was  illegal,  and 
the  only  title  the  pope  can  show  to  temporal  power  over  the 
patrimony  of  Peter  is  long  tenure.  The  first  step  in  the  di- 
rection of  reforms  would  be  for  clergy  and  pope  to  renounce 
worldly  possessions  altogether.  This  remedy  had  been  pre- 
scribed by  Arnold  of  Brescia  and  Frederick  II. 

Dubois  also  criticised  the  rule  and  practice  of  celibacy. 
Few  clergymen  keep  their  vows.  And  yet  they  are  retained, 
while  ordination  is  denied  to  married  persons.  This  is  in  the 
face  of  the  fact  that  the  Apostle  permitted  marriage  to  all. 
The  practice  of  the  Eastern  church  is  to  be  preferred.  The 
rule  of  single  life  is  too  exacting,  especially  for  nuns.  Du- 
rante  had  proposed  the  abrogation  of  the  rule,  and  Arnald 
of  Villanova  had  emphasized  the  sacredness  of  the  marriage 
tie,  recalling  that  it  was  upon  a  married  man,  Peter,  that 
Christ  conferred  the  primacy.4 

1  Advocatus  regalium  causarum. 

2  For  these  tracts,  see  Renan,  p.  470  sq. ;  Scholz,  p.  886  sqq. 
8  Scholz,  p.  398. 

4  Contulit  conjugate  scilicet  beato  Petro  primatum  ecclerice,  Finke,  p. 
clzziii.  Arnald  is  attacking  the  Minorites  and  Dominicans  for  publicly  teach- 


§  5.      LITERARY   ATTACKS  AGAINST   THE  PAPACY.       43 

Dubois  showed  the  freshness  of  his  mind  by  suggestions  of 
a  practical  nature.  He  proposed  the  colonization  of  the  Holy 
Land  by  Christian  people,  and  the  marriage  of  Christian  women 
to  Saracens  of  station  as  a  means  of  converting  them.  As  a 
measure  for  securing  the  world's  conversion,  he  recommended 
to  Clement  the  establishment  of  schools  for  boys  and  girls  in 
every  province,  where  instruction  should  be  given  in  different 
languages.  The  girls  were  to  be  taught  Latin  and  the  funda- 
mentals of  natural  science,  and  especially  medicine  and  surgery, 
that  they  might  serve  as  female  physicians  among  women  in 
the  more  occult  disorders. 

A  review  of  the  controversial  literature  of  the  age  of 
Philip  the  Fair  shows  the  new  paths  along  which  men's 
thoughts  were  moving.1  The  papal  apologists  insisted  upon 
traditional  interpretations  of  a  limited  number  of  texts,  the 
perpetual  validity  of  Constantine's  donation,  and  the  transfer 
of  the  empire.  They  were  forever  quoting  Innocent's  famous 
bull,  Per  veneralilem.2  On  the  other  hand,  John  of  Paris,  and 
the  publicists  who  sympathized  with  him,  as  also  Dante,  cor- 
rected and  widened  the  vision  of  the  field  of  Scripture,  and 
brought  into  prominence  the  common  rights  of  man.  The  re- 
sistance which  the  king  of  France  offered  to  the  demands  of 
Boniface  encouraged  writers  to  speak  without  reserve. 

The  pope's  spiritual  primacy  was  left  untouched.  The 
attack  was  against  his  temporal  jurisdiction.  The  fiction  of 
the  two  swords  was  set  aside.  The  state  is  as  supreme  in 
its  sphere  as  the  Church  in  its  sphere,  and  derives  its  authority 
immediately  from  God.  Constantine  had  no  right  to  confer 
the  sovereignty  of  the  West  upon  Sylvester,  and  his  gift  con- 
stitutes no  valid  papal  claim.  Each  monarch  is  supreme  in 
his  own  realm,  and  the  theory  of  the  overlordship  of  the  em- 
peror is  abandoned  as  a  thing  out  of  date. 

The  pope's  tenure  of  office  was  made  subject  to  limitation. 

ing  that  the  statements  of  married  people  in  matters  of  doctrine  are  not  to  be 
believed,  conjugate  non  est  credendum  super  veritate  divina. 

1  See  the  summary  of  Scholz,  pp.  444-458. 

2  It  is  quoted  again  and  again  by  Henry  of  Cremona.    See  the  text  in  Scholz, 
p.  464  sq.,  etc.    For  the  text  of  the  bull,  see  Mirbt :  Quellen,  pp.  127-130. 


44  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

He  may  be  deposed  for  heresy  and  incompetency.  Some 
writers  went  so  far  as  to  deny  to  him  jurisdiction  over  Church 
property.  The  advisory  function  of  the  cardinals  was  em- 
phasized and  the  independent  authority  of  the  bishops  affirmed. 
Above  all,  the  authority  residing  in  the  Church  as  a  body  of 
believers  was  discussed,  and  its  voice,  as  uttered  through  a 
general  council,  pronounced  to  be  superior  to  the  authority  of 
the  pope.  The  utterances  of  John  of  Paris  and  Peter  Dubois 
on  the  subject  of  general  councils  led  straight  on  to  the  views 
propounded  during  the  papal  schism  at  the  close  of  the  four- 
teenth century.1  Dubois  demanded  that  laymen  as  well  as 
clerics  should  have  a  voice  in  them.  The  rule  of  clerical  celi- 
bacy was  attacked,  and  attention  called  to  its  widespread  vio- 
lation in  practice.  Pope  and  clergy  were  invoked  to  devote 
themselves  to  the  spiritual  well-being  of  mankind,  and  to 
foster  peaceable  measures  for  the  world's  conversion. 

This  freedom  of  utterance  and  changed  way  of  thinking 
mark  the  beginning  of  one  of  the  great  revolutions  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  Christian  Church.  To  these  publicists  the  modern 
world  owes  a  debt  of  gratitude.  Principles  whicli  are  now  re- 
garded as  axiomatic  were  new  for  the  Christian  public  of  their 
day.  A  generation  later,  Marsiglius  of  Padua  defined  them 
again  with  clearness,  and  took  a  step  still  further  in  advance. 

§  6.    The  Transfer  of  the  Papacy  to  Avignon. 

The  successor  of  Boniface,  Benedict  XL,  1303-1304,  a 
Dominican,  was  a  mild-spirited  and  worthy  man,  more  bent 
on  healing  ruptures  than  on  forcing  his  arbitrary  will.  De- 
parting from  the  policy  of  his  predecessor,  he  capitulated  to 
the  state  and  put  an  end  to  the  conflict  with  Philip  the  Fair. 
Sentences  launched  by  Boniface  were  recalled  or  modified, 
and  the  interdict  pronounced  by  that  pope  upon  Lyons  was 
revoked.  Palestrina  was  restored  to  the  Colonna.  Only 
Sciarra  Colonna  and  Nogaret  were  excepted  from  the  act  of 
immediate  clemency  and  ordered  to  appear  at  Rome.  Bene- 
dict's death,  after  a  brief  reign  of  eight  months,  was  ascribed 

1  Scholz,  p.  322  ;  Schwab  :  Life  of  Geraon,  p.  188. 


§  6,      THE  TRANSFER   OF   THE  PAPACY  TO   AVIGNON.     45 

to  poison  secreted  in  a  dish  of  figs,  of  which  the  pope  partook 
freely.1 

The  conclave  met  in  Perugia,  where  Benedict  died,  and 
was  torn  by  factions.  After  an  interval  of  nearly  eleven 
months,  the  French  party  won  a  complete  triumph  by  the 
choice  of  Bertrand  de  Got,  archbishop  of  Bordeaux,  who 
took  the  name  of  Clement  V.  At  the  time  of  his  election, 
Bertrand  was  in  France.  He  never  crossed  the  Alps.  After 
holding  his  court  at  Bordeaux,  Poictiers,  and  Toulouse,  he 
chose,  in  1309,  Avignon  as  his  residence. 

Thus  began  the  so-called  Babylonian  captivity,  or  Avi- 
gnon exile,  of  the  papacy,  which  lasted  more  than  seventy 
years  and  included  seven  popes,  all  Frenchmen,  Clement  V., 
1305-1314  ;  John  XXII.,  1316-1334;  Benedict  XII.,  1334- 
1342;  Clement  VI.,  1342-1352  ;  Innocent  VI.,  1352-1362; 
Urban  V.,  1362-1370  ;  Gregory  XL,  1370-1378.  This  pro- 
longed absence  from  Rome  was  a  great  shock  to  the  papal 
system.  Transplanted  from  its  maternal  soil,  the  papacy  was 
cut  loose  from  the  hallowed  and  historical  associations  of 
thirteen  centuries.  It  no  longer  spake  as  from  the  centre  of 
the  Christian  world. 

The  way  had  been  prepared  for  the  abandonment  of  the 
Eternal  City  and  removal  to  French  territory.  Innocent  II. 
and  other  popes  had  found  refuge  in  France.  During  the 
last  half  of  the  thirteenth  century  the  Apostolic  See,  in  its 
struggle  with  the  empire,  had  leaned  upon  France  for  aid. 
To  avoid  Frederick  II.,  Innocent  IV.  had  fled  to  Lyons,  1245. 
If  Boniface  VIII.  represents  a  turning-point  in  the  history  of 
the  papacy,  the  Avignon  residence  shook  the  reverence  of 
Christendom  for  it.  It  was  in  danger  of  becoming  a  French 
institution.  Not  only  were  the  popes  all  Frenchmen,  but  the 
large  majority  of  the  cardinals  were  of  French  birth.  Both 
were  reduced  to  a  station  little  above  that  of  court  prelates 
subject  to  the  nod  of  the  French  sovereign.  At  the  same 

i  Ferretus  of  Vicenza,  Muratori,  IX.  1013.  Villani,  VIII.  80.  As  an 
example  of  Benedict's  sanctity  it  was  related  that  after  be  was  made  pope  he 
was  visited  by  his  mother,  dressed  in  silks,  but  he  refused  to  recognize  her 
till  she  had  changed  her  dress,  and  then  he  embraced  her. 


46  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

time,  the  popes  continued  to  exercise  their  prerogatives  over 
the  other  nations  of  Western  Christendom,  and  freely  hurled 
anathemas  at  the  German  emperor  and  laid  the  interdict 
upon  Italian  cities.  The  word  might  be  passed  around, 
"  where  the  pope  is,  there  is  Rome,"  but  the  wonder  is  that 
the  grave  hurt  done  to  his  oecumenical  character  was  not 
irreparable.1 

The  morals  of  Avignon  during  the  papal  residence  were 
notorious  throughout  Europe.  The  papal  household  had  all 
the  appearance  of  a  worldly  court,  torn  by  envies  and 
troubled  by  schemes  of  all  sorts.  Some  of  the  Avignon 
popes  left  a  good  name,  but  the  general  impression  was  bad 
—  weak  if  not  vicious.  The  curia  was  notorious  for  its 
extravagance,  venality,  and  sensuality.  Nepotism,  bri- 
bery, and  simony  were  unblushingly  practised.  The  finan- 
cial operations  of  the  papal  family  became  oppressive  to 
an  extent  unknown  before.  Indulgences,  applied  to  all 
sorts  of  cases,  were  made  a  source  of  increasing  revenue. 
''Alvarus  Pelagius,  a  member  of  the  papal  household  and  a 
strenuous  supporter  of  the  papacy,  in  his  De  planctu  ecclesice, 
complained  bitterly  of  the  peculation  and  traffic  in  ecclesias- 
tical places  going  on  at  the  papal  court.  It  swarmed  with 
money-changers,  and  parties  bent  on  money  operations. 
Another  contemporary,  Petrarch,  who  never  uttered  a  word 
against  the  papacy  as  a  divine  institution,  launched  his  sat- 
ires against  Avignon,  which  he  called  "the  sink  of  every 
vice,  the  haunt  of  all  iniquities,  a  third  Babylon,  the  Babylon 
of  the  West."  No  expression  is  too  strong  to  carry  his  bit- 
ing invectives.  Avignon  is  the  "  fountain  of  afflictions,  the 

1  See  Pastor,  I.  75-80.  He  calls  Clement's  decision  to  remain  in  France 
der  unselige  Entschluss,  "  the  unholy  resolve/1  and  says  the  change  to  Avi- 
gnon had  the  meaning  of  a  calamity  and  a  fall,  die  Bedeutung  einer  Katastro- 
phe,  eines  Sturzes.  Hefele-Knopfler,  Kirchengeschichte,  p.  458,  pronounces 
it  "  a  move  full  of  bad  omen."  Baur,  Kirchengesch.  d.  M.A.,  p.  265,  said, 
"The  transference  of  the  papal  chair  to  Avignon  was  the  fatal  turning-point 
from  which  the  papacy  moved  on  to  its  dramatic  goal  with  hasty  step."  See 
also  Haller,  p.  23.  Pastor,  p.  62,  making  out  as  good  a  case  as  he  can  for  the 
Avignon  popes,  lays  stress  upon  the  support  they  gave  to  missions  in  Asia 
and  Africa.  Clement  VI.,  1842-1862,  appointed  an  archbishop  for  Japan. 


§  6.  THE  TRANSFER  OF  THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON.  47 

refuge  of  wrath,  the  school  of  errors,  a  temple  of  lies,  the 
awful  prison,  hell  on  earth."1  But  the  corruption  of  Avi- 
gnon was  too  glaring  to  make  it  necessary  for  him  to  invent 
charges.  This  ill-fame  gives  Avignon  a  place  at  the  side  of 
the  courts  of  Louis  XIV.  and  Charles  II.  of  England. 

During  this  papal  expatriation,  Italy  fell  into  a  deplorable 
condition.  Rome,  which  had  been  the  queen  of  cities,  the  goal 
of  pilgrims,  the  centre  towards  which  the  pious  affections  of 
all  Western  Europe  turned,  the  locality  where  royal  and 
princely  embassies  had  sought  ratification  for  ambitious  plans 
— Rome  was  now  turned  into  an  arena  of  wild  confusion  and 
riot.  Contending  factions  of  nobles,  the  Colonna,  Orsini, 
Gaetani,  and  others,  were  in  constant  feud,2  and  strove  one 
with  the  other  for  the  mastery  in  municipal  affairs  and  were 
often  themselves  set  aside  by  popular  leaders  whose  low 
birth  they  despised.  The  source  of  her  gains  gone,  the  city 
withered  away  and  was  reduced  to  the  proportions,  the  pov- 
erty, and  the  dull  happenings  of  a  provincial  town,  till  in 
1370  the  population  numbered  less  than  20,000.  She  had  no 
commerce  to  stir  her  pulses  like  the  young  cities  in  Northern 
and  Southern  Germany  and  in  Lombardy.  Obscurity  and 
melancholy  settled  upon  her  palaces  and  public  places,  broken 
only  by  the  petty  attempts  at  civic  displays,  which  were  like 
the  actings  of  the  circus  ring  compared  with  the  serious 
manoeuvres  of  a  military  campaign.  The  old  monuments 
were  neglected  or  torn  down.  A  papal  legate  sold  the  stones 
of  the  Colosseum  to  be  burnt  in  lime-kilns,  and  her  marbles 
were  transported  to  other  cities,  so  that  it  was  said  she  was 
drawn  upon  more  than  Carrara.8  Her  churches  became 

1  Petrarch  speaks  of  it  "  as  filled  with  every  kind  of  confusion,  the  pow- 
ers of  darkness  overspreading  it  and  containing  everything  fearful  which  had 
ever  existed  or  been  imagined  by  a  disordered  mind."  Robinson :  Petrarch, 
p.  87.  Pastor,  I.  p.  76,  seeks  to  reduce  the  value  of  Petrarch's  testimony  on 
the  ground  that  he  spoke  as  a  poet,  burning  with  the  warm  blood  of  his 
country,  who,  notwithstanding  his  charges,  preferred  to  live  in  Avignon. 

8  The  children  did  not  escape  the  violence  of  this  mad  frenzy.  The  little 
child,  Agaplto  Colonna,  was  found  in  the  church,  where  it  had  been  taken  by 
the  servant,  strangled  by  the  Orsini. 

*  Pastor,  p.  7&,  with  note. 


48  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1617. 

roofless.  Cattle  ate  grass  up  to  the  very  altars  of  the  Lateran 
and  St.  Peter's.  The  movement  of  art  was  stopped  which 
had  begun  with  the  arrival  of  Giotto,  who  had  come  to  Rome 
at  the  call  of  Boniface  VIII.  to  adorn  St.  Peter's.  No  prod- 
uct of  architecture  is  handed  down  from  this  period  except 
the  marble  stairway  of  the  church  of  St.  Maria,  Ara  Coeli, 
erected  in  1348  with  an  inscription  commemorating  the  de- 
liverance from  the  plague,  and  the  restored  Lateran  church 
which  was  burnt,  1308.1  Ponds  and  d6bris  interrupted  the 
passage  of  the  streets  and  filled  the  air  with  offensive  and 
deadly  odors.  At  Clement  V.'s  death,  Napoleon  Orsini  as- 
sured Philip  that  the  Eternal  City  was  on  the  verge  of  de- 
struction and,  in  1347,  Cola  di  Rienzo  thought  it  more  fit  to 
be  called  a  den  of  robbers  than  the  residence  of  civilized  men. 

The  Italian  peninsula,  at  least  in  its  northern  half,  was  a 
scene  of  political  division  and  social  anarchy.  The  country 
districts  were  infested  with  bands  of  brigands.  The  cities 
were  given  to  frequent  and  violent  changes  of  government. 
High  officials  of  the  Church  paid  the  price  of  immunity  from 
plunder  and  violence  by  exactions  levied  on  other  personages 
of  station.  Such  were  some  of  the  immediate  results  of  the 
exile  of  the  papacy.  Italy  was  in  danger  of  succumbing  to  the 
fate  of  Hellas  and  being  turned  into  a  desolate  waste. 

Avignon,  which  Clement  chose  as  his  residence,  is  460  miles 
southeast  of  Paris  and  lies  south  of  Lyons.  Its  proximity  to 
the  port  of  Marseilles  made  it  accessible  to  Italy.  It  was  pur- 
chased by  Clement  VI.,  1348,  from  Naples  for  80,000  gold  flor- 
ins, and  remained  papal  territory  until  the  French  Revolution. 
As  early  as  1229,  the  popes  held  territory  in  the  vicinity,  the 
duchy  of  Venaissin,  which  fell  to  them  from  the  domain  of 
Raymond  of  Toulouse.  On  every  side  this  free  papal  home 
was  closely  confined  by  French  territory.  Clement  was  urged 
by  Italian  bishops  to  go  to  Rome,  and  Italian  writers  gave  as 
one  reason  for  his  refusal  fear  lest  he  should  receive  meet  pun- 
ishment for  his  readiness  to  condemn  Boniface  VIII.8 

1  John  XXII.  paid  off  the  cost  incurred  for  this  restoration  with  the  price  of 
silver  vessels  left  by  Clement  V.  for  the  relief  of  the  churches  in  Rome. 
See  Ehrle,  V.  131.  a  See  Finke  :  Qudlen,  p.  92. 


§  6.      THE  1JBANSFBB   OF   THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON.     49 

Clement's  coronation  was  celebrated  at  Lyons,  Philip  and 
his  brothef  Charles  of  Valois,the  Duke  of  Bretagne  and  rep- 
resentatives of  the  king  of  England  being  present.  Philip 
and  the  duke  walked  at  the  side  of  the  pope's  palfrey.  By 
the  fall  of  an  old  wall  during  the  procession,  the  duke,  a 
brother  of  the  pope,  and  ten  other  persons  lost  their  lives. 
The  pope  himself  was  thrown  from  his  horse,  his  tiara  rolled 
in  the  dust,  and  a  large  carbuncle,  which  adorned  it,  was  lost. 
Scarcely  ever  was  a  papal  ruler  put  in  a  more  compromising 
position  than  the  new  pontiff.  His  subjection  to  a  sovereign 
who  had  defied  the  papacy  was  a  strange  spectacle.  He  owed 
his  tiara  indirectly,  if  not  immediately,  to  Philip  the  Fair. 
He  was  the  man  Philip  wanted.1  It  was  his  task  to  appease 
the  king's  anger  against  the  memory  of  Boniface,  and  to  meet 
his  brutal  demands  concerning  the  Knights  Templars.  These, 
with  the  Council  of  Vienne,  which  he  called,  were  the  chief 
historic  concerns  of  his  pontificate. 

The  terms  on  which  the  new  pope  received  the  tiara  were 
imposed  by  Philip  himself,  and,  according  to  Villani,  the  price 
he  made  the  Gascon  pay  included  six  promises.  Five  of  them 
concerned  the  total  undoing  of  what  Boniface  had  done  in  his 
conflict  with  Philip.  The  sixth  article,  which  was  kept  secret, 
was  supposed  to  be  the  destruction  of  the  order  of  the  Tem- 
plars. It  is  true  that  the  authenticity  of  these  six  articles  has 
been  disputed,  but  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  from  the  very 
outset  of  Clement's  pontificate,  the  French  king  pressed  their 
execution  upon  the  pope's  attention.2  Clement,  in  poor  posi- 
tion to  resist,  confirmed  what  Benedict  had  done  and  went 

1  Dollinger  says  Clement  passed  completely  into  the  service  of  the  king,  er 
trat  ganz  in  den  Dienst  des  Konigs.     Akad.  Vortrage,  III.  254. 

2  Mansi  was  the  first  to  express  doubts  concerning  these  articles,  reported  by 
Villani,  VIII. 80.    Dollinger:  Akad.  Vortrdge,  III.  264,  and  Hefele,  following 
Bouteric,  deny  them  altogether.     Hefele,  in  a  long  and  careful  statement,  VI. 
894-403,  gives  reasons  for  regarding  them  as  an  Italian  invention.    Clement 
distinctly  said  that  he  knew  nothing  of  the  charges  against  the  Templars  till 
the  day  of  his  coronation.  On  the  other  hand,  Villani's  testimony  is  clear  and 
positive,  and  at  any  rate  shows  the  feeling  which  prevailed  in  the  early  part  of 
the  fourteenth  century.    Archer  is  inclined  to  hold  on  to  Villani's  testimony, 
Ene.  Brit.,  XXIII.  164.     The  character  of  pope  and  king,  and  the  circum- 
stances under  which  Clement  was  elected,  make  a  compact  altogether  probable. 


60  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

farther.  He  absolved  the  king ;  recalled,  Feb.  1,  1306,  the 
offensive  bulls  Olericis  laicoB  and  Unam  sanctam^  so  far  as  they 
implied  anything  offensive  to  France  or  any  subjection  on 
the  part  of  the  king  to  the  papal  chair,  not  customary  before 
their  issue,  and  fully  restored  the  cardinals  of  the  Colonna 
family  to  the  dignities  of  their  office. 

The  proceedings  touching  the  character  of  Boniface  VIII. 
and  his  right  to  a  place  among  the  popes  dragged  along  for 
fully  six  years.  Philip  had  offered,  among  others,  his  brother, 
Count  Louis  of  Evreux,  as  a  witness  for  the  charge  that  Boni- 
face had  died  a  heretic.  There  was  a  division  of  sentiment 
among  the  cardinals.  The  Colonna  were  as  hostile  to  the 
memory  of  Boniface  as  they  were  zealous  in  their  writings 
for  the  memory  of  Ccelestine  V.  They  pronounced  it  to  be 
contrary  to  the  divine  ordinance  for  a  pope  to  abdicate.  His 
spiritual  marriage  with  the  Church  cannot  be  dissolved.  And 
as  for  there  being  two  popes  at  the  same  time,  God  was  him- 
self not  able  to  constitute  such  a  monstrosity.  On  the  other 
hand,  writers  like  Augustinus  Triumphus  defended  Boniface 
and  pronounced  him  a  martyr  to  the  interests  of  the  Church 
and  worthy  of  canonization.1  In  his  zeal  against  his  old  enemy 
Philip  had  called,  probably  as  early  as  1305,  for  the  canoniza- 
tion of  Coelestine  V.2  A  second  time,  in  1307,  Boniface's  con- 
demnation was  pressed  upon  Clement  by  the  king  in  person. 
But  the  pope  knew  how  to  prolong  the  prosecution  on  all  sorts 
of  pretexts.  Philip  represented  himself  as  concerned  for  the 
interests  of  religion,  and  Nogaret  and  the  other  conspirators 
insisted  that  the  assault  at  Avignon  was  a  religious  aci,negotium 
fidei.  Nogaret  sent  forth  no  less  than  twelve  apologies  defend- 
ing himself  for  his  part  in  the  assault.3  In  1310  the  formal 

1  Dupuy,  pp.  448-466.  See  Finke  and  Scholz,  pp.  198-207.  Among  those  who 
took  sides  against  the  pope  was  Peter  Dubois.     In  his  Deliberatio  super  agen- 
dis  a  Philippo  IV.  (Dupuy,  pp.  44-47),  he  pronounced  Boniface  a  heretic. 
This  tract  was  probably  written  during  the  sessions  of  the  National  Assembly 
in  Paris,  April,  1302.     See  Scholz,  p.  386.     In  another  tract  Dubois  (Dupuy, 
pp.  214-19)  called  upon  the  French  king  to  condemn  Boniface  as  a  heretic. 

2  This  is  upon  the  basis  of  a  tractate  found  and  published  by  Finke,  Aus 
den  Tagen  Bon.  VIIL,  pp.  Ixix-c,  and  which  he  puts  in  the  year  1308.     See 
pp.  Ixxxv,  xcviii.    Scholz,  p.  174,  ascribes  this  tract  to  Augustinus  Triumphus. 

«  Holtzmann :  W.  von  Nogaret,  p.  202  sqq. 


§  6.   THE  TRANSFER  OF  THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON.  61 

trial  began*  Many  witnesses  appeared  to  testify  against  Boni- 
face,— laymen,  priests  and  bishops.  The  accusations  were  that 
the  pope  had  declared  all  three  religions  false,  Mohammedan- 
ism, Judaism  and  Christianity,  pronounced  the  virgin  birth 
a  tale,  denied  transubstantiation  and  the  existence  of  hell  and 
heaven  and  that  he  had  played  games  of  chance. 

Clement  issued  one  bull  after  another  protesting  the  inno- 
cency  of  the  offending  parties  concerned  in  the  violent  meas- 
ures against  Boniface.  Philip  and  Nogaret  were  declared 
innocent  of  all  guilt  and  to  have  only  pure  motives  in  prefer- 
ring charges  against  the  dead  pope.1  The  bull,  Rex  gloricB^ 
1311,  addressed  to  Philip,  stated  that  the  secular  kingdom 
was  founded  by  God  and  that  France  in  the  new  dispensation 
occupied  about  the  same  p]ace  as  Israel,  the  elect  people,  oc- 
cupied under  the  old  dispensation.  Nogaret's  purpose  in  enter- 
ing into  the  agreement  which  resulted  in  the  affair  at  Anagni 
was  to  save  the  Church  from  destruction  at  the  hands  of  Boni- 
face, and  the  plundering  of  the  papal  palace  and  church  was 
done  against  the  wishes  of  the  French  chancellor.  In  several 
bulls  Clement  recalled  all  punishments,  statements,  suspen- 
sions and  declarations  made  against  Philip  and  his  kingdom, 
or  supposed  to  have  been  made.  And  to  fully  placate  the 
king,  he  ordered  all  Boniface's  pronouncements  of  this  char- 
acter effaced  from  the  books  of  the  Roman  Church.  Thus  in 
the  most  solemn  papal  form  did  Boniface's  successor  undo  all 
that  Boniface  had  done.2  When  the  (Ecumenical  Council  of 
Vienne  met,  the  case  of  Boniface  was  so  notorious  a  matter 
that  it  had  to  be  taken  up.  After  a  formal  trial,  in  which  the 
accused  pontiff  was  defended  by  three  cardinals,  he  was  ad- 
judged not  guilty.  To  gain  this  point,  and  to  save  his  pred- 
ecessor from  formal  condemnation,  it  is  probable  Clement 

1  The  tract  of  1308  attempts  to  prove  some  of  the  charges  against  Boniface 
untrue,  or  that  true  sayings  attributed  to  him  did  not  make  him  a  heretic. 
For  example,  it  takes  up  the  charges  that  Boniface  had  called  the  Gauls  dogs, 
and  had  said  he  would  rather  be  a  dog  than  a  Gaul.  The  argument  begins  by 
quoting  Eccles.  3  :  19,  p.  Izz.  sqq. 

8  The  condemned  clauses  were  in  some  cases  erased,  but  Boniface's  friends 
succeeded  in  keeping  some  perfect  copies  of  the  originals.  See  Hefele- 
Knbpfier,  VI.  460. 


52  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

had  to  surrender  to  Philip  unqualifiedly  in  the  matter  of  the 
Knights  of  the  Temple. 

After  long  and  wearisome  proceedings,  this  order  was  for- 
mally legislated  out  of  existence  by  Clement  in  1312.  Founded 
inlll9  to  protect  pilgrims  and  to  defend  the  Holy  Land  against 
the  Moslems,  it  had  outli  ved  its  mission.  Sapped  of  its  energy 
by  riches  and  indulgence,  its  once  famous  knights  might  well 
have  disbanded  and  no  interest  been  the  worse  for  it.  The 
story,  however,  of  their  forcible  suppression  awakens  universal 
sympathy  and  forms  one  of  the  most  thrilling  and  mysterious 
chapters  of  the  age.  Dollinger  has  called  it "  a  unique  drama 
in  history."1 

The  destruction  of  the  Templar  order  was  relentlessly  in- 
sisted upon  by  Philip  the  Fair,  and  accomplished  with  the 
reluctant  co-operation  of  Clement  V.  In  vain  did  the  king 
strive  to  hide  the  sordidness  of  his  purpose  under  the  thin 
mask  of  religious  zeal.  At  Clement's  coronation,  if  not  before, 
Philip  brought  charges  against  it.  About  the  same  time,  in 
the  insurrection  called  forth  by  his  debasement  of  the  coin, 
the  king  took  refuge  in  the  Templars'  building  at  Paris.  In 
1307  he  renewed  the  charges  before  the  pope.  When  Clement 
hesitated,  he  proceededto  violence,  and  on  the  night  of  Oct.  13, 
1307,  he  had  all  the  members  of  the  order  in  France  arrested 
and  thrown  into  prison,  including  Jacques  de  Molay,  the 
grand-master.  Dollinger  applies  to  this  deed  the  strong  lan- 
guage that,  if  he  were  asked  to  pick  out  from  the  whole 
history  of  the  world  the  accursed  day,  —  dies  nefastus,  — he 
would  be  able  to  name  none  other  than  Oct.  13,  1307.  Three 
days  later,  Philip  announced  he  had  taken  this  action 
as  the  defender  of  the  faith  and  called  upon  Christian 
princes  to  follow  his  example.  Little  as  the  business  was  to 
Clement's  taste,  he  was  not  man  enough  to  set  himself  in 
opposition  to  the  king,  and  he  gradually  became  complai- 

1  Dbllinger's  treatment,  Akad.  Vortrage,  III.  244-274,  was  the  last  address 
that  distinguished  historian  made  before  the  Munich  Academy  of  the  Sciences. 
In  his  zeal  to  present  a  good  case  for  the  Templars,  he  suggests  that  if  they  had 
been  let  alone  they  might  have  done  good  service  by  policing  the  Mediterranean, 
with  Cyprus  as  a  base. 


§  6.      THE  TRANSFER   OF  THE  PAPACY  TO   AVIGNON.     53 

sant.1  The  machinery  of  the  Inquisition  was  called  into  use. 
The  Dominicans,  its  chief  agents,  stood  high  in  Philip's 
favor,  and  one  of  their  number  was  his  confessor.  In  1308 
the  authorities  of  the  state  assented  to  the  king's  plans  to 
bring  the  order  to  trial.  The  constitution  of  the  court  was 
provided  for  by  Clement,  the  bishop  of  each  diocese  and  two 
Franciscans  and  two  Dominicans  being  associated  together. 
A  commission  invested  with  general  authority  was  to  sit  in 
Paris.2 

In  the  summer  of  1308  the  pope  ordered  a  prosecution  of 
the  knights  wherever  they  might  be  found.8  The  charges  set 
forth  were  heresy,  spitting  upon  the  cross,  worshipping  an  idol, 
Bafomet  —  the  word  for  Mohammed  in  theProvengal  dialect 
— and  also  the  most  abominable  offences  against  moral  decency 
such  as  sodomy  and  kissing  the  posterior  parts  and  the  navel  of 
fellow  knights.  The  members  were  also  accused  of  having 
meetings  with  the  devil  who  appeared  in  the  form  of  a  black 
cat  and  of  having  carnal  intercourse  with  female  demons. 
The  charges  which  the  lawyers  and  Inquisitors  got  together 
numbered  127  and  these  the  pope  sent  through  France  and 
to  other  countries  as  the  basis  of  the  prosecution. 

Under  the  strain  of  prolonged  torture,  many  of  the  unfortu- 
nate men  gave  assent  to  these  charges,  and  more  particularly 

1  In  the  bull  Pashtralis  prceeminentice,  1307.   Augustinus  Triuraphus,  in  his 
tract  on  the  Templars,  de  facto  Templarorum,  without  denying  the  charges  of 
heresy,  denied  the  king's  right  to  seize  and  try  persons  accused  of  heresy  on 
his  own  initiative  and  without  the  previous  consent  of  the  Church.    See  the 
document  printed  by  Scholz,  pp.  508-616. 

2  It  consisted  of  the  archbishop  of  Narbonne,  the  bishops  of  Mende,  Bayeux, 
and  Limoges  and  four  lesser  dignitaries.    The  place  of  sitting  was  put  at  Paris 
at  the  urgency  of  Philip. 

8  In  the  bull  Facie ns  misericordiam.  In  this  document  the  pope  made 
the  charge  that  the  grand-master  and  the  officers  of  the  order  were  in  the  habit 
of  granting  absolution,  a  strictly  priestly  prerogative.  It  was  to  confirm  the 
strict  view  of  granting  absolution  that  Alexander  III.  provided  for  the  ad- 
mission of  priests  to  the  Military  Orders.  See  Lea's  valuable  paper,  The 
Absolution  Formula  of  the  Templars.  See  also  on  this  subject  Finke  I.  SOS- 
SOT.  Funk,  p.  1830,  says  der  Pabst  kam  vonjetzt  an  dem  KVnig  mehr  und 
mehr  entgegen  und  nachdem  er  sich  von  dem  gewaltigsten  und  rttcksichtstosig- 
Bten  Fftrsten  seiner  Zeit  hatte  ungarnen  lassen,  war  ein  Entkomme*  aw 
seiner  Gewalt  kaum  mehr  mdglich. 


54  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

to  the  denial  of  Christ  and  the  spitting  upon  the  cross.  The 
Templars  seem  to  have  had  no  friends  in  high  places  bold 
enough  to  take  their  part.  The  king,  the  pope,  the  Domini- 
can order,  the  University  of  Paris,  the  French  episcopacy  were 
against  them.  Many  confessions  once  made  by  the  victims  were 
afterwards  recalled  at  the  stake .  Many  denied  the  charges  alto- 
gether.1 In  Paris  36  died  under  torture,  54  suffered  there  at 
one  burning,  May  10,  1310,  and  8  days  later  4  more.  Hun- 
dreds of  them  perished  in  prison.  Even  the  bitterest  ene- 
mies acknowledged  that  the  Templars  who  were  put  to  death 
maintained  their  innocence  to  their  dying  breath.2 

In  accordance  with  Clement's  order,  trials  were  had  in  Ger- 
many, Italy,  Spain,  Portugal,  Cyprus  and  England.  In  Eng- 
land, Edward  II.  at  first  refused  to  apply  the  torture,  which  was 
never  formally  adopted  in  that  land,  but  later,  at  Clement's 
demand,  he  complied.  Papal  inquisitors  appeared.  Synods  in 
London  and  York  declared  the  charges  of  heresy  so  serious  that 
it  would  be  impossible  for  the  knights  to  clear  themselves. 
English  houses  were  disbanded  and  the  members  distributed 
among  the  monasteries  to  do  penance.  In  Italy  and  Germany, 
the  accused  were,  for  the  most  part,  declared  innocent.  In 
Spain  and  Portugal,  no  evidence  was  forthcoming  of  guilt  and 
the  synod  of  Tarragona,  1310,  and  other  synods  favored  their 
innocence. 

The  last  act  in  these  hostile  proceedings  was  opened  at  the 
Council  of  Vienne,  called  for  the  special  purpose  of  taking  ac- 
tion upon  the  order.  The  large  majority  of  the  council  were 

1  These  practices  have  been  regarded  by  Prutz,  Loiscleur  {La  doctrine  secrete 
des  Templien,  Paris,  1872)  and  others  as  a  part  of  a  secret  code  which  came 
into  use  in  the  thirteenth  century.    But  the  code  has  not  been  forthcoming  and 
was  not  referred  to  in  the  trials.    Frederick  II.  declared  that  the  Templars  re- 
ceived Mohammedans  into  their  house  at  Jerusalem  and  preferred  their  religious 
rites.     This  statement  must  be  taken  with  reserve,  in  view  of  Frederick's  hos- 
tility to  the  order  for  its  refusal  to  help  him  on  his  crusade.    See  M.  Paris,  an. 
1244. 

2  At  the  trial  before  the  bishop  of  Nismes  hi  1309,  out  of  32,  all  but  three 
denied  the  charges.    At  Perpignan,  1310,  the  whole  number,  26,  denied  the 
charges.     At  Clermont40  confessed  the  order  guilty,  28  denied  its  guilt.     With 
such  antagonistic  testimonies  it  is  difficult,  if  at  all  possible,  to  decide  the 
question  of  guilt  or  innocence. 


§  6.   THE  TRANSFER  OF  THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON.  55 

in  favor  of  giving  it  a  new  trial  and  a  fair  chance  to  prove  its 
innocence.  But  the  king  was  relentless.  He  reminded  Clem- 
ent that  the  guilt  of  the  knights  had  been  sufficiently  proven, 
and  insisted  that  the  order  be  abolished.  He  appeared  in 
person  at  the  council,  attended  by  a  great  retinue.  Clement 
was  overawed,  and  by  virtue  of  his  apostolic  power  issued  his 
decree  abolishing  the  Templars,  March  22, 1312.1  Clement's 
reasons  were  that  suspicions  existed  that  the  order  held  to 
heresies,  that  many  of  the  Templars  had  confessed  to  heresies 
and  other  offences,  that  thereafter  reputable  persons  would 
not  enter  the  order,  and  that  it  was  no  longer  necessary  for 
the  defence  of  the  Holy  Land.  Directions  were  given  for  the 
further  procedure.  The  guilty  were  to  be  put  to  death  ;  the 
innocent  to  be  supported  out  of  the  revenues  of  the  order. 
With  this  action  the  famous  order  passed  out  of  existence. 
The  end  of  Jacques  de  Molay,  the  22d  and  last  grand-mas- 
ter of  the  order  of  Templars,  was  worthy  of  its  proudest  days. 
At  the  first  trial  he  confessed  to  the  charges  of  denying  Christ 
and  spitting  upon  the  cross,  and  was  condemned,  but  after- 
wards recalled  his  confession.  His  case  was  reopened  in  1314. 
With  Geoffrey  de  Charney,  grand-preceptor  of  Normandy, 
and  others,  he  was  led  in  front  of  Notre  Dame  Cathedral,  and 
sentenced  to  perpetual  imprisonment.  Molay  then  stood  forth 
and  declared  that  the  charges  against  the  order  were  false, 
and  that  he  had  confessed  to  them  under  the  strain  of  torture 
and  instructions  from  the  king.  Charney  said  the  same.  The 
commission  promised  to  reconsider  the  case  the  next  day.  But 
the  king's  vengeance  knew  no  bounds,  and  that  night,  March  11, 
1314,  the  prisoners  were  burned.  The  story  ran  that  while  the 
flames  were  doing  their  grewsome  work,  Molay  summoned  pope 
and  king  to  meet  him  at  the  judgment  bar  within  a  year.  The 
former  died,  in  a  little  more  than  a  month,  of  a  loathsome  dis- 

1  Per  viam  provisions  sen  ordinationis  apostolicce  is  the  language  of  the 
bull,  that  is,  as  opposed  to  de  jure  or  as  a  punishment  for  proven  crimes.  This 
bull,  Vox  clamantis,  was  found  by  the  Benedictine,  Dr.  Gams,  in  Spain,  in  1866. 
See  Hefele-KnSpfler,  VI.  626  sqq.  It  is  found  in  Mirbt :  Quellen,  p.  149  sq. 
Clement  asserts  he  issued  the  order  of  abolition  "not without  bitterness  and 
pain  of  heart,"  non  sine  cordis  amaritudine  et  dolore.  Two  other  bulls  on 
the  Templars  and  the  disposition  of  their  property  followed  in  May. 


56  THE  MIDDLE  AGES,      A.D.    1204-1617. 

ease,  though  penitent,  as  it  was  reported,  for  his  treatment  of 
the  order,  and  the  king,  by  accident,  while  engaged  in  the  chase, 
six  months  later.  The  king  was  only  46  years  old  at  the  time 
of  his  death,  and  14  years  after,  the  last  of  his  direct  descend- 
ants was  in  his  grave  and  the  throne  passed  to  the  house  of 
Valois. 

As  for  the  possessions  of  the  order,  papal  decrees  turned 
them  over  to  the  Knights  of  St.  John,  but  Philip  again  inter- 
vened and  laid  claim  to  260,000  pounds  as  a  reimbursement 
for  alleged  losses  to  the  Temple  and  the  expense  of  guard- 
ing the  prisoners.1  In  Spain,  they  passed  to  the  orders  of 
San  lago  di  Compostella  and  Calatrava.  In  Aragon,  they 
were  in  part  applied  to  a  new  order,  Santa  Maria  de  Montesia, 
and  in  Portugal  to  the  Military  Order  of  Jesus  Christ,  ordo 
militice  Jesu  Ckristi.  Repeated  demands  made  by  the  pope 
secured  the  transmission  of  a  large  part  of  their  possessions  to 
the  Knights  of  St.  John.  In  England,  in  1323,  parliament 
granted  their  lands  to  the  Hospitallers,  but  the  king  appropri- 
ated a  considerable  share  to  himself.  The  Temple  in  London 
fell  to  the  Earl  of  Pembroke,  1313.2 

The  explanation  of  Philip's  violent  animosity  and  persist- 
ent persecution  is  his  cupidity.  He  coveted  the  wealth  of 
the  Templars.  Philip  was  quite  equal  to  a  crime  of  this 
sort.8  He  robbed  the  bankers  of  Lombardy  and  the  Jews  of 

1  The  wealth  of  the  Templars  has  been  greatly  exaggerated.  They  were 
not  richer  in  France  than  the  Hospitallers.  About  1300,  the  possessions  of 
each  of  these  orders  in  that  country  were  taxed  at  6000  pounds.  See  Dbllinger, 
p.  267  sq.  Thomas  Fuller,  the  English  historian,  quaintly  says,  *  *  Philip  would 
never  have  taken  away  the  Templars1  lives  if  he  might  have  taken  away  their 
lands  without  putting  them  to  death.  He  could  not  get  the  honey  without 
burning  the  bees."  The  Spanish  delegation  to  the  Council  of  Vienne  wrote 
back  to  the  king  of  Aragon  that  the  chief  concern  at  the  council  and  with  the 
king  in  regard  to  the  Templars  was  the  disposition  of  their  goods,  Finke,  I. 
350, 374.  Finke,  I.  Ill,  115,  etc.,  ascribes  a  good  deal  of  the  animosity  against 
the  order  to  the  revelations  made  by  Esquin  de  Floy  ran  to  Jay  me  of  Aragon 
in  1305.  But  the  charges  he  made  were  already  current  in  France. 

8  In  1609  the  benchers  of  the  Inner  and  Middle  Temple  received  the  build- 
ings for  a  small  annual  payment  to  the  Crown,  into  whose  possession  they  had 
passed  under  Henry  VIII. 

8  Dante  and  Villani  agree  that  the  Templars  were  innocent.  In  this  judg- 
ment most  modern  historians  concur.  Funk  declares  the  sentence  of  inno- 


§  6.      THE  TRANSFER   OF   THE  PAPACY  TO   AVIGNON.     57 

France,  and  debased  the  coin  of  his  realm.  A  loan  of  500,000 
pounds  which  he  had  secured  for  a  sister's  dowry  had  involved 
him  in  great  financial  straits.  He  appropriated  all  the  pos- 
sessions of  the  Templars  he  could  lay  his  hands  upon.  Clem- 
ent V.'s  subserviency  it  is  easy  to  explain.  He  was  a  creature 
of  the  king.  When  the  pope  hesitated  to  proceed  against  the 
unfortunate  order,  the  king  beset  him  with  the  case  of  Boni- 
face VIII.  To  save  the  memory  of  his  predecessor,  the  pope 
surrendered  the  lives  of  the  knights.1  Dante,  in  represent- 
ing the  Templars  as  victims  of  the  king's  avarice,  compares 
Philip  to  Pontius  Pilate. 

"  I  see  the  modern  Pilate,  whom  avails 
No  cruelty  to  sate  and  who,  unbidden, 
Into  the  Temple  sets  his  greedy  sails." 

Purgatory,  xx.  91. 

The  house  of  the  Templars  in  Paris  was  turned  into  a  royal 
residence,  from  which  Louis  XVI.,  more  than  four  centuries 
later,  went  forth  to  the  scaffold. 

The  Council  of  Vienne,  the  fifteenth  in  the  list  of  the  oecumen- 
ical councils,  met  Oct.  16, 1311,  and  after  holding  three  sessions 
adjourned  six  months  later,  May  6, 1312.  Clement  opened  it 
with  an  address  on  Psalm  111  :  1,  2,  and  designated  three  sub- 
jects for  its  consideration,  the  case  of  the  order  of  the  Tem- 
plars, the  relief  of  the  Holy  Land  and  Church  reform.  The 
documents  bearing  on  the  council  are  defective.2  In  addition 

cence  to  be  •*  without  question  the  right  one,"  p.  1341.  Dollinger,  with  great 
emphasis,  insists  that  nowhere  did  a  Templar  make  a  confession  of  guilt  except 
under  torture,  p.  267.  More  recently,  1907,  Finke  (I.  p.  ix.  326  sq.  837)  in- 
sists upon  their  innocence  and  the  untrustworthiness  of  the  confessions  made 
by  the  Templars.  He  declares  that  he  who  advocates  their  guilt  must  ac- 
cept the  appearances  of  the  devil  as  a  tom-cat.  Prutz,  in  his  earlier  works, 
decided  for  their  guilt.  Schottmttller,  Dtfllinger,  Funk,  and  our  own  Dr.  Lea 
strongly  favor  their  innocence.  Banke :  Univ.  Hist.,  VIII.  622,  wavers  and 
ascribes  to  them  the  doctrinal  standpoint  of  Frederick  II.  and  Manfred.  In 
France,  Michelet  was  against  the  order ;  Michaud,  Guizot,  Renan  and  Bou- 
taric  for  it  Hallam :  Middle  Ages,  I.  142-146,  is  undecided. 

1  See  Dollinger,  p.  255,  and  Gregorovius.  Lea  gives  as  excuse  for  the  length 
at  which  he  treats  the  trial  and  fate  of  the  unfortunate  knights,  their  helpless- 
ness before  the  Inquisition. 

»  Ehrie,  Archivflir  Lit.  und  Kirchengesch.  IV.  361-470,  published  a  frag- 
mentary report  which  he  discovered  in  the  National  Library  in  Paris.  For 
the  best  account  of  the  proceedings,  see  Hefele-Knopfler,  VI.  514-554. 


68  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

to  the  decisions  concerning  the  Templars  and  Boniface  VIII., 
it  condemned  the  Beguines  and  Beghards  and  listened  to 
charges  made  against  the  Franciscan,  Peter  John  Olivi  (d. 
1298).  Olivi  belonged  to  the  Spiritual  wing  of  the  order.  His 
books  had  been  ordered  burnt,  1274,  by  one  Franciscan  gen- 
eral, and  a  second  general  of  the  order,  Bonagratia,  1279,  had 
appointed  a  commission  which  found  thirty-four  dangerous 
articles  in  his  writings.  The  council,  without  pronouncing* 
against  Olivi,  condemned  three  articles  ascribed  to  him  bear- 
ing on  the  relation  of  the  two  parties  in  the  Franciscan  order, 
the  Spirituals  and  Conventuals. 

The  council  has  a  place  in  the  history  of  biblical  scholar- 
ship and  university  education  by  its  act  ordering  two  chairs 
each,  of  Hebrew,  Arabic,  and  Chaldee  established  in  Paris, 
Oxford,  Bologna,  and  Salamanca. 

While  the  proceedings  against  Boniface  and  the  Templars 
were  dragging  on  in  their  slow  course  in  France,  Clement  was 
trying  to  make  good  his  authority  in  Italy.  Against  Venice 
he  hurled  the  most  violent  anathemas  and  interdicts  for  ven- 
turing to  lay  hands  on  Ferrara,  whose  territory  was  claimed 
by  the  Apostolic  See.  A  crusade  was  preached  against  the 
sacrilegious  city.  She  was  defeated  in  battle,  and  Ferrara 
was  committed  to  the  administration  of  Robert,  king  of 
Naples,  as  the  pope's  vicar. 

All  that  he  could  well  do,  Clement  did  to  strengthen  the 
hold  of  France  on  the  papacy.  The  first  year  of  his  pontifi- 
cate he  appointed  9  French  cardinals,  and  of  the  24  persons 
whom  he  honored  with  the  purple,  23  were  Frenchmen.  He 
granted  to  the  insatiable  Philip  a  Church  tithe  for  five  years. 
Next  to  the  fulfilment  of  his  obligations  to  this  monarch, 
Clement  made  it  his  chief  business  to  levy  tributes  upon  eccle- 
siastics of  all  grades  and  upon  vacant  Church  livings. l  He  was 
prodigal  with  offices  to  his  relatives.  This  was  a  leading  fea- 
ture of  his  pontificate.  Five  of  his  kin  were  made  cardinals, 
three  being  still  in  their  youth.  His  brother  he  made  rector 
of  Rome,  and  other  members  of  his  family  received  Ancona, 
Ferrara,  the  duchy  of  Spoleto,  and  the  duchy  of  Venaissin,  and 

1  Haller,  p.  45  sqq. 


§  6.   THE  TRANSFER  OF  THE  PAPACY  TO  AVIGNON.  59 

other  territories  within  the  pope's  gift.1  The  administration 
and  disposition  of  his  treasure  occupied  a  large  part  of  Clem- 
ent's time  and  have  offered  an  interesting  subject  to  the  pen 
of  the  modern  Jesuit  scholar,  Ehrle.  The  papal  treasure  left 
by  Clement's  predecessor,  after  being  removed  from  Perugia 
to  France,  was  taken  from  place  to  place  and  castle  to  castle, 
packed  in  coffers  laden  on  the  backs  of  mules.  After  Clem- 
ent's death,  the  vast  sums  he  had  received  and  accumulated 
suddenly  disappeared.  Clement's  successor,  John  XXII.,  in- 
stituted a  suit  against  Clement's  most  trusted  relatives  to 
account  for  the  moneys.  The  suit  lasted  from  1318-1322,  and 
brought  to  light  a  great  amount  of  information  concerning 
Clement's  finances.2 

His  fortune  Clement  disposed  of  by  will,  1312,  the  total 
amount  being  814,000  florins;  300,000  were  given  to  his 
nephew,  the  viscount  of  Lomagne  and  Auvillars,  a  man  other- 
wise known  for  his  numerous  illegitimate  offspring.  This 
sum  was  to  be  used  for  a  crusade ;  314,000  were  bequeathed  to 
other  relatives  and  to  servants.  The  remaining  200,000  were 
given  to  churches,  convents,  and  the  poor.  A  loan  of  160,000 
made  to  the  king  of  France  was  never  paid  back.8 

Clement's  body  was  by  his  appointment  buried  at  Uzeste. 
His  treasure  was  plundered.  At  the  trial  instituted  by  John 
XXII.,  it  appeared  that  Clement  before  his  death  had  set  apart 
70,000  florins  to  be  divided  in  equal  shares  between  his  suc- 
cessor and  the  college  of  cardinals.  The  viscount  of  Lomagne 
was  put  into  confinement  by  John,  and  turned  over  300,000 
florins,  one-half  going  to  the  cardinals  and  one-half  to  the 
pope.  A  few  months  after  Clement's  death,  the  count  made 
loans  to  the  king  of  France  of  110,000  florins  and  to  the  king 
of  England  of  60,000. 

Clement's  relatives  showed  their  appreciation  of  his  liber- 
ality by  erecting  to  his  memory  an  elaborate  sarcophagus  at 

1  Ehrle,  V.  139  sq. 

2  Ehrle,  p.  147,  calculates  that  Clement's  yearly  income  was  between  200,000 
and  250,000  gold  florins,  and  that  of  this  amount  he  spent  100,000  for  the  ex- 
penses of  his  court  and  saved  the  remainder,  100,000  or  160,000.    Ehrle,  p.  149, 
gives  Clement's  family  tree.  *  Ehrle,  pp.  126,  135. 


60  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Uzeste,  which  cost  50,000  gold  florins.  The  theory  is  that  the 
pope  administers  moneys  coming  to  him  by  virtue  of  his  papal 
office  for  the  interest  of  the  Church  at  large.  Clement  spoke 
of  the  treasure  in  his  coffers  as  his  own,  which  he  might  dis- 
pose of  as  he  chose.1 

Clement's  private  life  was  open  to  the  grave  suspicion  of 
unlawful  intimacy  with  the  beautiful  Countess  Brunissenda  of 
Foix.  Of  all  the  popes  of  the  fourteenth  century,  he  showed 
the  least  independence.  An  apologist  of  Boniface  VIII., 
writing  in  1308,  recorded  this  judgment :  2  "  The  Lord  per- 
mitted Clement  to  be  elected,  who  was  more  concerned  about 
temporal  things  and  in  enriching  his  relatives  than  was  Boni- 
face, in  order  that  by  contrast  Boniface  might  seem  worthy 
of  praise  where  he  would  otherwise  have  been  condemned,  just 
as  the  bitter  is  not  known  except  by  the  sweet,  or  cold  except 
by  heat,  or  the  good  except  by  evil."  Villani,  who  assailed 
both  popes,  characterized  Clement  "  as  licentious,  greedy  of 
money,  a  simoniac,  who  sold  in  his  court  every  benefice  for 
gold."8 

By  a  single  service  did  this  pope  seem  to  place  the  Church 
in  debt  to  his  pontificate.  The  book  of  decretals,  known  as 
the  Clementines,  and  issued  in  part  by  him,  was  completed  by 
his  successor,  John  XXII. 

§  7.    The  Pontificate  of  John  XXII.     1316-1334. 

Clement  died  April  20,  1314.  The  cardinals  met  at  Car- 
pentras  and  then  at  Lyons,  and  after  an  interregnum  of  twenty- 
seven  months  elected  John  XXII.,  1316-1334,  to  the  papal 
throne.  He  was  then  seventy-two,  and  cardinal-bishop  of 

1  Clement's  grave  is  reported  to  have  been  opened  and  looted  by  the  Cal- 
vinists  in  1668  or  1677.     See  Ehrle,  p.  139. 

2  Finke  :  Ann  den  Tayen  Bon.  VI1L,  p.  Ixxxviii. 

8  Chronicle,  IX.  69.  Villani  tells  the  story  that  at  the  death  of  one  of 
Clement's  nephews,  a  cardinal,  Clement,  in  his  desire  to  see  him,  consulted  a 
necromancer.  The  master  of  the  dark  arts  had  one  of  the  pope's  chaplains  con- 
ducted by  demons  to  hell,  where  he  was  shown  a  palace,  and  in  it  the  nephew's 
soul  laid  on  a  bed  of  glowing  fire,  and  near  by  a  place  reserved  for  the  pope 
himself.  He  also  relates  that  the  coffin,  in  which  Clement  was  laid,  was  burnt, 
and  with  it  the  pope's  body  up  to  the  waist. 


§  7.      THE  PONTIFICATE  OF  JOHN  XXII.      1316-1884.      61 

Porto.1  Dante  had  written  to  the  conclave  begging  that  it 
elect  an  Italian  pope,  but  the  French  influence  was  irresist- 
ible. 

Said  to  be  the  son  of  a  cobbler  of  Cahors,  short  of  stature,2 
with  a  squeaking  voice,  industrious  and  pedantic,  John  was, 
upon  the  whole,  the  most  conspicuous  figure  among  the  popes 
of  the  fourteenth  century,  though  not  the  most  able  or  worthy 
one.  He  was  a  man  of  restless  disposition,  and  kept  the  papal 
court  in  constant  commotion.  The  Vatican  Archives  preserve 
59  volumes  of  his  bulls  and  other  writings.  He  had  been  a  tu- 
tor in  the  house  of  Anjou,  and  carried  the  preceptorial  method 
into  his  papal  utterances.  It  was  his  ambition  to  be  a  theo- 
logian as  well  as  pope.  He  solemnly  promised  the  Italian 
faction  in  the  curia  never  to  mount  an  ass  except  to  start  on 
the  road  to  Rome.  But  he  never  left  Avignon.  His  devo- 
tion to  France  was  shown  at  the  very  beginning  of  his  reign 
in  the  appointment  of  eight  cardinals,  of  whom  seven  were 
Frenchmen. 

The  four  notable  features  of  John's  pontificate  are  his 
quarrel  with  the  German  emperor,  Lewis  the  Bavarian,  his 
condemnation  of  the  rigid  party  of  the  Franciscans,  his  own 
doctrinal  heresy,  and  his  cupidity  for  gold. 

The  struggle  with  Lewis  the  Bavarian  was  a  little  after- 
play  compared  with  the  imposing  conflicts  between  the  Hohen- 
stauf  en  and  the  notable  popes  of  preceding  centuries.  Europe 
looked  on  with  slight  interest  at  the  long-protracted  dispute, 
which  was  more  adapted  to  show  the  petulance  and  weakness 
of  both  emperor  and  pope  than  to  settle  permanently  any 
great  principle.  At  Henry  VII.  's  death,  1313,  five  of  the  elec- 
tors gave  their  votes  for  Lewis  of  the  house  of  Wittelsbach, 
and  two  for  Frederick  of  Hapsburg.  Both  appealed  to  the 
new  pope,  about  to  be  elected.  Frederick  was  crowned  by 

1  Villani,  IX  :  81,  gives  the  suspicious  report  that  the  cardinals,  weary  of 
their  inability  to  make  a  choice,  left  it  to  John,  Following  the  advice  of  Car- 
dinal Napoleon  Orsini,  he  grasped  his  supreme  chance  and  elected  himself. 
He  was  crowned  at  Lyons. 

3  Villani's  statement  that  he  was  the  son  of  a  cobbler  is  doubted.  Ferretus 
of  Vicenza  says  he  was  "small  like  Zaccheus." 


62  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  archbishop  of  Treves  at  Bonn,  and  Lewis  by  the  archbishop 
of  Mainz  at  Aachen.  In  1317  John  declared  that  the  pope 
was  the  lawful  vicar  of  the  empire  so  long  as  the  throne  was 
vacant,  and  denied  Lewis  recognition  as  king  of  the  Romans  on 
the  ground  of  his  having  neglected  to  submit  his  election  to 
him. 

The  battle  at  Miihldorf,  1322,  left  Frederick  a  prisoner  in 
his  rival's  hands.  This  turn  of  affairs  forced  John  to  take 
more  decisive  action,  and  in  1323  was  issued  against  Lewis 
the  first  of  a  wearisome  and  repetitious  series  of  complaints 
and  punishments  from  Avignon.  The  pope  threatened  him 
with  the  ban,  claiming  authority  to  approve  or  set  aside  an 
emperor's  election.1  A  year  later  he  excommunicated  Lewis 
and  all  his  supporters. 

In  answer  to  this  first  complaint  of  1 323,  Lewis  made  a 
formal  declaration  at  Niirnberg  in  the  presence  of  a  notary 
and  other  witnesses  that  he  regarded  the  empire  as  inde- 
.  pendent  of  the  pope,  charged  John  with  heresy,  and  appealed 
to  a  general  council.  The  charge  of  heresy  was  based  on  the 
pope's  treatment  of  the  Spiritual  party  among  the  Francis- 
cans. Condemned  by  John,  prominent  Spirituals,  Michael 
of  Cesena,  Ockam  and  Bonagratia,  espoused  Lewis7  cause, 
took  refuge  at  his  court,  and  defended  him  with  their  pens. 
The  political  conflict  was  thus  complicated  by  a  recondite  ec- 
clesiastical problem.  In  1324  Lewis  issued  a  second  appeal, 
written  in  the  chapel  of  the  Teutonic  Order  in  Sachsen- 
hausen,  which  again  renewed  the  demand  for  a  general  council 
and  repeated  the  charge  of  heresy  against  the  pope. 

The  next  year,  1325,  Lewis  suffered  a  severe  defeat  from 
Leopold  of  Austria,  who  had  entered  into  a  compact  to  put 
Charles  IV.  of  France  on  the  German  throne.  He  went  so 
far  as  to  express  his  readiness,  in  the  compact  of  Ulm,  1326, 
to  surrender  the  German  crown  to  Frederick,  provided  he 
himself  was  confirmed  in  his  right  to  Italy  and  the  imperial 
dignity.  At  this  juncture  Leopold  died. 

By  papal  appointment  Robert  of  Naples  was  vicar  of  Rome. 

1  See  Mttller:  Kampf 'Ludwtgs,  etc.,  I.  61  sqq.  Examinatio,  approbatio  ac 
admonitio,  repulsio  quoque  et  reprobatio. 


§  7.      THE  PONTIFICATE  OF  JOHN   XXII.      1316-1334.         63 

But  Lewis  had  no  idea  of  surrendering  his  claims  to  Italy, 
and,  now  that  he  was  once  again  free  by  Leopold's  death,  he 
marched  across  the  Alps  and  was  crowned,  January  1327,  em- 
peror in  front  of  St.  Peter's.  Sciarra  Colonna,  as  the  repre- 
sentative of  the  people,  placed  the  crown  on  his  head,  and  two 
bishops  administered  unction.  Villani1  expresses  indigna- 
tion at  an  imperial  coronation  conducted  without  the  pope's 
consent  as  a  thing  unheard  of.  Lewis  was  the  first  mediaeval 
emperor  crowned  by  the  people.  A  formal  trial  was  insti- 
tuted, and  "James  of  Cahors,who  calls  himself  John  XXII." 
was  denounced  as  anti-christ  and  deposed  from  the  papal 
throne  and  his  effigy  carried  through  the  streets  and  burnt.2 
John  of  Corbara,  belonging  to  the  Spiritual  wing  of  the 
Franciscans,  was  elected  to  the  throne  just  declared  vacant,  and 
took  the  name  of  Nicolas  V.  He  was  the  first  anti-pope  since 
the  days  of  Barbarossa.  Lewis  himself  placed  the  crown  upon 
the  pontiff's  head,  and  the  bishop  of  Venice  performed  the  cere- 
mony of  unction.  Nicolas  surrounded  himself  with  a  col- 
lege of  seven  cardinals,  and  was  accused  of  having  forthwith 
renounced  the  principles  of  poverty  and  abstemiousness  in 
dress  and  at  the  table  which  the  day  before  he  had  advocated. 
To  these  acts  of  violence  John  replied  by  pronouncing 
Lewis  a  heretic  and  appointing  a  crusade  against  him,  with 
the  promise  of  indulgence  to  all  taking  part  in  it.  Fickle 
Rome  soon  grew  weary  of  her  lay-crowned  emperor,  who  had 
been  so  unwise  as  to  impose  an  extraordinary  tribute  of 
10,000  florins  each  upon  the  people,  the  clergy,  and  the  Jews 
of  the  city.  He  retired  to  the  North,  Nicolas  following  him 
with  his  retinue  of  cardinals.  At  Pisa,  the  emperor  being 
present,  the  anti-pope  excommunicated  John  and  summoned 
a  general  council  to  Milan.  John  was  again  burnt  in  effigy, 
at  the  cathedral,  and  condemned  to  death  for  heresy.  In  1330 

*  X.  65. 

2  The  grounds  on  which  John  was  deposed  were  his  decisions  against  the 
Spirituals,  the  use  of  money  and  ships,  intended  for  a  crusade,  to  reduce 
Gtenoa,  appropriation  of  the  right  of  appointment  to  clerical  offices,  and  his 
residence  away  from  Rome.  The  document  is  found  in  Muratori,  XIV.f 
1167-1178.  For  a  vivid  description  of  the  enthronement  and  character  of 
John  of  Corbara,  see  Gregorovius,  VI.  153  sqq. 


64  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Lewis  withdrew  from  Italy  altogether,  while  Nicolas,  with  a 
cord  around  his  neck,  submitted  to  John.  He  died  in  Avi- 
gnon three  years  later.  In  1334,  John  issued  a  bull  which, 
according  to  Karl  M  tiller,  was  the  rudest  act  of  violence  done 
up  to  that  time  to  the  German  emperor  by  a  pope.1  This 
fulraination  separated  Italy  from  the  crown  and  kingdom 
—  imperium  et  regnum  —  of  Germany  and  forbade  their  being 
reunited  in  one  body.  The  reason  given  for  this  drastic 
measure  was  the  territorial  separation  of  the  two  provinces. 
Thus  was  accomplished  by  a  distinct  announcement  what  the 
diplomacy  of  Innocent  III.  was  the  first  to  make  a  part  of  the 
papal  policy,  and  which  figured  so  prominently  in  the  struggle 
between  Gregory  IX.  and  Frederick  II. 

With  his  constituency  completely  lost  in  Italy,  and  with 
only  an  uncertain  support  in  Germany,  Lewis  now  made 
overtures  for  peace.  But  the  pope  was  not  ready  for  any- 
thing less  than  a  full  renunciation  of  the  imperial  power. 
John  died  1334,  but  the  struggle  was  continued  through 
the  pontificate  of  his  successor,  Benedict  XII.  Philip  VI.  of 
France  set  himself  against  Benedict's  measures  for  reconcili- 
ation with  Lewis,  and  in  1337  the  emperor  made  an  alliance 
with  England  against  France.  Princes  of  Germany,  making 
the  rights  of  the  empire  their  own,  adopted  the  famous  con- 
stitution of  Rense,  —  a  locality  near  Mainz,  which  was  con- 
firmed at  the  Diet  of  Frankfurt,  1338.  It  repudiated  the 
pope's  extravagant  temporal  claims,  and  declared  that  the 
election  of  an  emperor  by  the  electors  was  final,  and  did  not 
require  papal  approval.  This  was  the  first  representative 
German  assembly  to  assert  the  independence  of  the  empire. 

The  interdict  was  hanging  over  the  German  assembly  when 
Benedict  died,  1342.  The  battle  had  gone  against  Lewis, 
and  his  supporters  were  well-nigh  all  gone  from  him.  A 
submission  even  more  humiliating  than  that  of  Henry  IV. 
was  the  only  thing  left.  He  sought  the  favor  of  Clement  VI., 
but  in  vain.  In  a  bull  of  April  12, 1343,  Clement  enumerated 
the  emperor's  many  crimes,  and  anew  ordered  him  to  re- 
nounce the  imperial  dignity.  Lewis  wrote,  yielding  sub- 

I336sqq.,  376  sqq.,  406. 


§  7.      THE  PONTIFICATE  OF  JOHN   XXII.      1316-1334.       65 

mission,  but  the  authenticity  of  the  document  was  questioned 
at  Avignon,  probably  with  the  set  purpose  of  increasing  the 
emperor's  humiliation.  Harder  conditions  were  laid  down. 
They  were  rejected  by  the  diet  at  Frankfurt,  1344.  But  Ger- 
many was  weary,  and  listened  without  revulsion  to  a  final 
bull  against  Lewis,  1346,  and  a  summons  to  the  electors  to 
proceed  to  a  new  election.  The  electors,  John  of  Bohemia 
among  them,  chose  Charles  IV.,  John's  son.  The  Bohemian 
king  was  the  blind  warrior  who  met  his  death  on  the  battle- 
field of  Crecy  the  same  year.  Before  his  election,  Charles  had 
visited  Avignon,  and  promised  full  submission  to  the  pope's  de- 
mands. His  continued  complacency  during  his  reign  justi- 
fied the  pope's  choice.  The  struggle  was  ended  with  Lewis' 
death  a  year  later,  1347,  while  he  was  engaged  near  Munich 
in  a  bear-hunt.  It  was  the  last  conflict  of  the  empire  and 
papacy  along  the  old  lines  laid  down  by  those  ecclesiastical 
warriors,  Hildebrand  and  Innocent  III.  and  Gregory  IX. 

To  return  to  John  XXII.,  he  became  a  prominent  figure  in 
the  controversy  within  the  Franciscan  order  over  the  tenure 
of  property,  a  controversy  which  had  been  going  on  from  the 
earliest  period  between  the  two  parties,  the  Spirituals,  or 
Observants,  and  the  Conventuals.  The  last  testament  of  St. 
Francis,  pleading  for  the  practice  of  absolute  poverty,  and 
suppressed  in  Bonaventura's  Life  of  the  saint,  126S,  was  not 
fully  recognized  in  the  bull  of  Nicolas  II  I.,  1279,  which  granted 
the  Franciscans  the  right  to  use  property  as  tenants,  while 
forbidding  them  to  hold  it  in  fee  simple.  With  this  decision 
the  strict  party,  the  Spirituals,  were  not  satisfied,  and  the 
struggle  went  on.  Coelestine  V.  attempted  to  bring  peace  by 
merging  the  Spiritual  wing  with  the  order  of  Hermits  he 
had  founded,  but  the  measure  was  without  success. 

Under  Boniface  VIII.  matters  went  hard  with  the  Spir- 
ituals. This  pope  deposed  the  general,  Raymond  Gaufredi, 
putting  in  his  place  John  of  Murro,  who  belonged  to  the 
laxer  wing.  Peter  John  Olivi  (d.1298),  whose  writings  were 
widely  circulated,  had  declared  himself  in  favor  of  Nicolas' 
bull,  with  the  interpretation  that  the  use  of  property  and 
goods  was  to  be  the  "  use  of  necessity," —  usus  pauper,  —  as 


66  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

opposed  to  the  more  liberal  use  advocated  by  the  Conventuals 
and  called  usus  moderate.  Olivi's  personal  fortunes  were 
typical  of  the  fortunes  of  the  Spiritual  branch.  After  his 
death,  the  attack  made  against  his  memory  was,  if  possible, 
more  determined,  and  culminated  in  the  charges  preferred  at 
Vienne.  Murro  adopted  violent  measures,  burning  Olivi's 
writings,  and  casting  his  sympathizers  into  prison.  Other 
prominent  Spirituals  fled.  Angelo  Clareno  found  refuge  for 
a  time  in  Greece,  returning  to  Rome,  1305,  under  the  protec- 
tion of  the  Colonna. 

The  case  was  formally  taken  up  by  Clement  V.,  who  called  a 
commission  to  Avignon  to  devise  measures  to  heal  the  division, 
and  gave  the  Spirituals  temporary  relief  from  persecution. 
The  proceedings  were  protracted  till  the  meeting  of  the 
council  in  Vienne,  when  the  Conventuals  brought  up  the  case 
in  the  form  of  an  arraignment  of  Olivi,  who  had  come  to  be 
regarded  almost  as  a  saint.  Among  the  charges  were  that 
he  pronounced  the  usus  pauper  to  be  of  the  essence  of  the 
Minorite  rule,  that  Christ  was  still  living  at  the  time  the 
lance  was  thrust  into  his  side,  and  that  the  rational  soul  has 
not  the  form  of  a  body.  Olivi's  memory  was  defended  by 
Ubertino  da  Casale,  and  the  council  passed  no  sentence  upon 
his  person. 

In  the  bull  Exivi  de  paradiso,1  issued  1313,  and  famous  in 
the  history  of  the  Franciscan  order,  Clement  seemed  to  take 
the  side  of  the  Spirituals.  It  forbade  the  order  or  any  of  its 
members  to  accept  bequests,  possess  vineyards,  sell  products 
from  their  gardens,  build  fine  churches,  or  go  to  law.  It 
permitted  only  "  the  use  of  necessity,"  usus  arctus  or  pauper, 
and  nothing  beyond.  The  Minorites  were  to  wear  no  shoes, 
ride  only  in  cases  of  necessity,  fast  from  Nov.  1  until 
Christmas,  as  well  as  every  Friday,  and  possess  a  single 
mantle  with  a  hood  and  one  without  a  hood.  Clement 
ordered  the  new  general,  Alexander  of  Alessandra,  to  turn 
over  to  Olivi's  followers  the  convents  of  Narbonne,  Carcas- 

1  It  is  uncertain  whether  this  bull  was  made  a  part  of  the  proceedings  of 
the  (Ecumenical  Council  of  Vienne.  See  Hefele,  VI.  660,  who  decides  for  it, 
and  Ehrle,  Archiv,  1885,  p.  640  sqq. 


§  7.      THE  PONTIFICATE  OF  JOHN   XXII.      1310-1334.       67 

sonne  and  Beziers,  but  also  ordered  the  Inquisition  to  punish 
the  Spirituals  who  refused  submission. 

In  spite  of  the  papal  decree,  the  controversy  was  still  being 
carried  on  within  the  order  with  great  heat,  when  John  XXII. 
came  to  the  throne.  In  the  decretal  Quorumdam  exegit^  and  in 
the  bull  Sancta  romana  et  universalis  ecclesia,  Dec.  30,  1317, 
John  took  a  positive  position  against  the  Spirituals.  A  few 
weeks  later,  he  condemned  a  formal  list  of  their  errors  and 
abolished  all  the  convents  under  Spiritual  management. 
From  this  time  on  dates  the  application  of  the  name 
Fraticelli l  to  the  Spirituals.  They  refused  to  submit,  and 
took  the  position  that  even  a  pope  had  no  right  to  modify  the 
Rule  of  St.  Francis.  Michael  of  Cesena,  the  general  of  the 
order,  defended  them.  Sixty-four  of  their  number  were  sum- 
moned to  Avignon.  Twenty-five  refused  to  yield,  and 
passed  into  the  hands  of  the  Inquisition.  Four  were  burnt 
as  martyrs  at  Marseilles,  May  7, 1318.  Others  fled  to  Sicily.2 

The  chief  interest  of  the  controversy  was  now  shifted  to 
the  strictly  theological  question  whether  Christ  and  his 
Apostles  observed  complete  poverty.  This  dispute  threatened 
to  rend  the  wing  of  the  Conventuals  itself.  Michael  of  Cesena, 
Ockam,  and  others,  took  the  position  that  Christ  and  his 
Apostles  not  only  held  no  property  as  individuals,  but  held 
none  in  common.  John,  opposing  this  view,  gave  as  arguments 
the  gifts  of  the  Magi,  that  Christ  possessed  clothes  and  bought 
food,  the  purse  of  Judas,  and  Paul's  labor  for  a  living.  In  the 
bull  Cum  inter  nonnullosi  1323,  and  other  bulls,  John  declared 
it  heresy  to  hold  that  Christ  and  the  Apostles  held  no  posses- 
sions. Those  who  resisted  this  interpretation  were  pronounced, 
1324,  rebels  and  heretics.  John  went  farther,  and  gave  back  to 
the  order  the  right  of  possessing  goods  in  fee  simple,  a  right 
which  Innocent  IV.  had  denied,  and  he  declared  that  in  things 
which  disappear  in  the  using,  such  as  eatables,  no  distinction 
can  be  made  between  their  use  and  their  possession.  In  1826 
John  pronounced  Olivi's  commentary  on  the  Apocalypse 

1  Hefele,  VI   681.    Ehrle:    Die  Spiritual™  in  Archiv,  1885,  pp.  609-614. 
f  Bhrle  :  Arckto,  pp.  166-168.     He  adduces  acts  of  Inquisition  against  the 
Spirituals  in  Umbria,  In  the  vicinity  of  Assiai,  as  late  as  1341. 


68  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1617. 

heretical.  The  three  Spiritual  leaders,  Cesena,  Ockam,  and 
Bonagratia  were  seized  and  held  in  prison  until  1328,  when 
they  escaped  and  fled  to  Lewis  the  Bavarian  at  Pisa.  It  was 
at  this  time  that  Ockam  was  said  to  have  used  to  the  em- 
peror the  famous  words,  "  Do  thou  defend  me  with  the  sword 
and  I  will  defend  thee  with  the  pen"  — tu  me  defended  gladio, 
ego  te  defendant  calamo.  They  were  deposed  from  their  offices 
and  included  in  the  ban  fulminated  against  the  anti-pope, 
Peter  of  Corbara.  Later,  Cesena  submitted  to  the  pope,  as 
Ockam  is  also  said  to  have  done  shortly  before  his  death. 
Cesena  died  at  Munich,  1342.  He  committed  the  seal  of  the 
order  to  Ockam.  On  his  death-bed  he  is  said  to  have  cried 
out :  "  My  God,  what  have  I  done  ?  I  have  appealed  against 
him  who  is  the  highest  on  the  earth.  But  look,  O  Father,  at 
the  spirit  of  truth  that  is  in  me  which  lias  not  erred  through 
the  lust  of  the  flesh  but  from  great  zeal  for  the  seraphic  order 
and  out  of  love  for  poverty."  Bonagratia  also  died  in  Munich.1 
Later  in  the  fourteenth  century  the  Regular  Observance 
grew  again  to  considerable  proportions,  and  in  the  beginning 
of  the  fifteenth  century  its  fame  was  revived  by  the  flaming 
preachers  Bernardino  of  Siena  and  John  of  Capistrano.  The 
peace  of  the  Franciscan  order  continued  to  be  the  concern  of 
pope  after  pope  until,  in  1517,  LeoX.  terminated  the  struggle 
of  three  centuries  by  formally  recognizing  two  distinct  societies 
within  the  Franciscan  body.  The  moderate  wing  was  placed 
under  the  Master-General  of  the  Conventual  Minorite  Broth- 
ers, and  was  confirmed  in  the  right  to  hold  property.  The 
strict  or  Observant  wing  was  placed  under  a  Minister-Gen- 
eral of  the  Whole  Order  of  St.  Francis.2  The  latter  takes 
precedence  in  processions  and  at  other  great  functions,  and 
holds  his  office  for  six  years. 

i  See  Riezler,  p.  124. 

3  Magister-generalis  fratrum  minorum  conventualium  and  minister-gen- 
eralis  totius  ordinis  S.  Francesci.  The  Capuchins,  who  are  Franciscans, 
were  recognized  as  a  distinct  order  by  Paul  V.,  1619.  Among  the  other  schis- 
matic Franciscan  orders  are  the  Recollect  Fathers  of  France,  who  proceeded 
from  the  Recollect  Convent  of  Nevers,  and  were  recognized  as  a  special  body 
by  Clement  VIII.,  1602.  These  monks  were  prominent  in  mission  work 
among  the  Indians  in  North  America. 


§  7.      THE  PONTIFICATE  OP  JOHN   XXII.      1316-1334.        69 

If  the  Spiritual  Franciscans  had  been  capable  of  taking 
secret  delight  in  an  adversary's  misfortunes,  they  would  have 
had  occasion  for  it  in  the  widely  spread  charge  that  John 
was  a  heretic.  At  any  rate,  he  came  as  near  being  a  heretic 
as  a  pope  can  be.  His  heresy  concerned  the  nature  of 
the  beatific  vision  after  death.  In  a  sermon  on  All  Souls', 
1331,  he  announced  that  the  blessed  dead  do  not  see  God 
until  the  general  resurrection.  In  at  least  two  more  sermons  he 
repeated  this  utterance.  John,  who  was  much  given  to  theol- 
ogizing, Ockam  declared  to  be  wholly  ignorant  in  theology.1 
This  Schoolman,  Cesena,  and  others  pronounced  the  view 
heretical.  John  imprisoned  an  English  Dominican  who 
preached  against  him,  and  so  certain  was  he  of  his  case  that 
he  sent  the  Franciscan  general,  Gerardus  Odonis,  to  Paris  to 
get  the  opinion  of  the  university. 

The  King,  Philip  VI.,  took  a  warm  interest  in  the  subject, 
opposed  the  pope,  and  called  a  council  of  theologians  at  Vin- 
cennes  to  give  its  opinion.  It  decided  that  ever  since  the  Lord 
descended  into  hades  and  released  souls  from  that  abode,  the 
righteous  have  at  death  immediately  entered  upon  the  vision 
of  the  divine  essence  of  the  Trinity.2  Among  the  supporters 
of  this  decision  was  Nicolas  of  Lyra.  When  official  an- 
nouncement of  the  decision  reached  the  pope,  he  summoned  a 
council  at  Avignon  and  set  before  it  passages  from  the  Fathers 
for  and  against  his  view.  They  sat  for  five  days,  in  Decem- 
ber, 1333.  John  then  made  a  public  announcement,  which  was 
communicated  to  the  king  and  queen  of  France,  that  he  had 
not  intended  to  say  anything  in  conflict  with  the  Fathers  arid 
the  orthodox  Church  and,  if  he  had  done  so,  he  retracted  his 
utterances. 

The  question  was  authoritatively  settled  by  Benedict  XII. 
in  the  bull  Benedictus  deus,  1336,  which  declared  that  the 
blessed  dead  —  saints,  the  Apostles,  virgins,  martyrs,  con- 
fessors who  need  no  purgatorial  cleansing  —  are,  after  death 
and  before  the  resurrection  of  their  bodies  at  the  general 

1  In  facilitate  theologies  omn  ino  fuit  ignarus.    See  Mttller :  JfiTamp/,  etc.,  I. 
24,  note. 

2  Mansi,  XXV.  982-984. 


70  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

judgment,  with  Christ  and  the  angels,  and  that  they  behold 
the  divine  essence  with  naked  vision.1  Benedict  declared 
that  John  died  while  he  was  preparing  a  decision. 

The  financial  policy  of  John  XXII.  and  his  successors 
merits  a  chapter  by  itself.  Here  reference  may  be  made  to 
John's  private  fortune.  He  has  had  the  questionable  fame 
of  not  only  having  amassed  a  larger  sum  than  any  of  his 
predecessors,  but  of  having  died  possessed  of  fabulous  wealth. 
Gregorovius  calls  him  the  Midas  of  Avignon.  According 
to  Villani,  he  left  behind  him  18,000,000  gold  florins  and 
7,000,000  florins'  worth  of  jewels  and  ornaments,  in  all  25,- 
000,000  florins,  or  $60,000,000  of  our  present  coinage.  This 
chronicler  concludes  with  the  remark  that  the  words  were 
no  longer  remembered  which  the  Good  Man  in  the  Gospels 
spake  to  his  disciples,  "Lay  up  for  yourselves  treasure  in 
heaven."2  Recent  investigations  seem  to  cast  suspicion  upon 
this  long-held  view  as  an  exaggeration.  John's  hoard  may 
have  amounted  to  not  more  than  750,000  florins,  or  $2,000,- 
000 8  of  our  money.  If  this  be  a  safe  estimate,  it  is  still 
true  that  John  was  a  shrewd  financier  and  perhaps  the  rich- 
est man  in  Europe. 

When  John  died  he  was  ninety  years  old. 

lDiviname88entiam  immediate,  se  bene  et  dare  et  aperte  illi*  ostendentem. 
Mansi,  XXV.  986. 

aXI.  20.  Another  writer,  Galvaneus  de  La  Flainma,  Muratori,  XII.  1009 
(quoted  by  Haller,  Papsttum,  p.  104),  says,  John  left  22,000,000  florins 
besides  other  u  unrecorded  treasure.11  This  writer  adds,  the  world  did  not 
have  a  richer  Christian  in  it  than  John  XXII. 

8  This  is  the  figure  reached  by  Ehrle,  Die  25  Millionrn  iwi  Schatz  Johann 
XXII. ,  Archiv,  1889,  pp.  155-160.  It  is  based  upon  the  contents  of  15  coffers, 
opened  in  the  year  1342  at  the  death  of  Benedict  XII.  These  coffers  con- 
tained  John's  treasure,  and  at  that  time  yielded  760,000  florins.  But  it  is 
manifestly  uncertain  how  far  John's  savings  had  been  reduced  by  Benedict, 
or  whether  these  coffers  were  all  that  were  left  by  John.  For  example,  at  his 
consecration,  Benedict  gave  100,000  florins  to  his  cardinals,  and  160,000  to  the 
churches  at  Rome,  and  it  is  quite  likely  he  drew  upon  John's  hoard.  The 
gold  mitres,  rings,  and  other  ornaments  which  John's  thrift  amassed,  were 
stored  in  other  chests.  Villani  got  his  report  from  his  brother,  a  Florentine 
banker  in  the  employ  of  the  curia  at  Avignon.  It  is  difficult  to  understand 
how,  in  making  his  statement,  he  should  have  gone  so  wide  of  the  truth  as 
Ehrle  suggests. 


§  8.      THE  PAPAL  OFFICE  ASSAILED.  71 


§  8.    The  Papal  Office  Assailed. 

To  the  pontificate  of  John  XXII.  belongs  a  second  group 
of  literary  assailants  of  the  papacy.  Going  beyond  Dante 
and  John  of  Paris,  they  attacked  the  pope's  spiritual  func- 
tions. Their  assaults  were  called  forth  by  the  conflict  with 
Lewis  the  Bavarian  and  the  controversy  with  the  Franciscan 
Spirituals.  Lewis'  court  became  a  veritable  nest  of  anti- 
papal  agitation  and  the  headquarters  of  pamphleteering. 
Marsiglius  of  Padua  was  the  cleverest  and  boldest  of  these 
writers,  Ockam  —  a  Schoolman  rather  than  a  practical 
thinker  —  the  most  copious.  Michael  of  Cesena  *  and  Bona- 
gratia  also  made  contributions  to  this  literature. 

Ockam  sets  forth  his  views  in  two  works,  The  Dialogue 
and  the  Sight  Questions.  The  former  is  ponderous  in  thought 
and  a  monster  in  size.2  It  is  difficult,  if  at  times  possible,  to 
detect  the  author's  views  in  the  mass  of  cumbersome  disputa- 
tion. These  views  seem  to  be  as  follows  :  The  papacy  is  not 
an  institution  which  is  essential  to  the  being  of  the  Church. 
Conditions  arise  to  make  it  necessary  to  establish  national 
churches.8  The  pope  is  not  infallible.  Even  a  legitimate 
pope  may  hold  to  heresy.  So  it  was  with  Peter,  who  was 
judaizing,  and  had  to  be  rebuked  by  Paul,  Liberius,  who  was 
an  Arian,  and  Leo,  who  was  arraigned  for  false  doctrine  by 
Hilary  of  Poictiers.  Sylvester  II.  made  a  compact  with  the 
devil.  One  or  the  other,  Nicolas  III.  or  John  XXII.,  was  a 
heretic,  for  the  one  contradicted  the  other.  A  general  coun- 
cil may  err  just  as  popes  have  erred.  So  did  the  second 
Council  of  Lyons  and  the  Council  of  Vienne,  which  condemned 
the  true  Minorites.  The  pope  may  be  pronounced  a  heretic 
by  a  council  or,  if  a  council  fails  in  its  duty,  the  cardinals 

1  Riezler,  p.  247  sq.    Three  of  these  writings  are  in  Goldast's  Monarchia  II., 
1236  sqq.    Riezler's  work,  Die  literarischen  Widersacher  dtr  Pdpste  is  the  best 
treatment  of  the  subject  of  this  chapter. 

2  The  Dialogue,  which  is  printed  in  Goldast,  is  called  by  Riezler  an  almost 
unreadable  monster,  tin  kaum  Ubersehbares  Monstrum. 

*  Quod  non  eat  necease,  ut  sub  Christo  sit  unus  rector  totius  ecclesice  sed 
sufficit  quod  sint  plures  diversos  regentes  provincios.  Quoted  by  Haller,  p.  80. 


72  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

may  pronounce  the  decision.  In  case  the  cardinals  fail,  the 
right  to  do  so  belongs  to  the  temporal  prince.  Christ  did 
not  commit  the  faith  to  the  pope  and  the  hierarchy,  but  to 
the  Church,  and  somewhere  within  the  Church  the  truth  is 
always  held  and  preserved.  Temporal  power  did  not  origi- 
nally belong  to  the  pope.  This  is  proved  by  Constantino's 
donation,  for  what  Constantino  gave,  he  gave  for  the  first  time. 
Supreme  power  in  temporal  and  spiritual  things  is  not  in  a 
single  hand.  The  emperor  has  full  power  by  virtue  of  his 
election,  and  does  not  depend  for  it  upon  unction  or  corona- 
tion by  the  pope  or  any  earthly  confirmation  of  any  kind. 

More  distinct  and  advanced  were  the  utterances  of  Marsi- 
glius  of  Padua.  His  writings  abound  in  incisive  thrusts  against 
the  prevailing  ecclesiastical  system,  and  lay  down  the  principles 
of  a  new  order.  In  the  preparation  of  his  chief  work,  the 
Defence  of  the  Faith,  —  Defensor  pads,  —  he  had  the  help  of 
John  of  Jandun.1  Both  writers  were  clerics,  but  neither  of  them 
monks.  Born  about  1270  in  Padua,  Marsiglius  devoted  him- 
self to  the  study  of  medicine,  and  in  1312  was  rector  of  the 
University  of  Paris.  In  1325  or  1326  he  betook  himself  to  the 
court  of  Lewis  the  Bavarian.  The  reasons  are  left  to  surmisal. 
He  acted  as  the  emperor's  physician.  In  1328  he  accompanied 
the  emperor  to  Rome,  and  showed  full  sympathy  with  the 
measures  taken  to  establish  the  emperor's  authority.  He  joined 
in  the  ceremonies  of  the  emperor's  coronation,  the  deposition 
of  John  XXII.  and  the  elevation  of  the  anti-pope,  Peter  of 
Corbara.  The  pope  had  already  denounced  Marsiglius  and 
John  of  Jandun  2  as  "  sons  of  perdition,  the  sons  of  Belial,  those 
pestiferous  individuals,  beasts  from  the  abyss,"  and  summoned 
the  Romans  to  make  them  prisoners.  Marsiglius  was  made 

1  M tiller,  1 .  368,  upon  the  basis  of  a  note  in  a  MS.  copy  in  Vienna,  places  its 
composition  before  June  24, 1324  ;  Riezler  between  1324-1326.  John  of  Jan- 
dun's  name  is  associated  with  the  composition  of  the  book  in  the  papal  bulls. 
However,  the  first  person  singular,  ego,  is  used  throughout.  According  to 
Innocent  VI,  Marsiglius  was  much  influenced  by  Ockam,  then  the  leading 
teacher  in  France.  This  is  inherently  probable  from  their  personal  associa- 
tion in  Paris  and  at  the  emperor's  court  and  the  community  of  many  of  their 
views.  See  Haller,  p.  78.  John  of  Jandun  died  probably  1328.  See  Riez- 
ler, p.  56.  «  See  the  bull  of  Oct.  23,  1327,  Mirbt,  Quellen,  p.  152. 


§  8.      THE  PAPAL  OFFICE  ASSAILED.  78 

vicar  of  Rome  by  the  emperor,  and  remained  true  to  the  prin- 
ciples stated  in  his  tract,  even  when  the  emperor  became  a  sup- 
pliant to  the  Avignon  court.  Lewis  even  went  so  far  as  to 
express  to  John  XXII.  his  readiness  to  withdraw  his  protec- 
tion from  Marsiglius  and  the  leaders  of  the  Spirituals.  Later, 
when  his  position  was  more  hopeful,  he  changed  his  attitude 
and  gave  them  his  protection  at  Munich.  But  again,  in  his 
letter  submitting  himself  to  Clement  VI.,  1343,  the  emperor 
denied  holding  the  errors  charged  against  Marsiglius  and 
John,  and  declared  his  object  in  retaining  them  at  his  court 
had  been  to  lead  them  back  to  the  Church.  The  Paduan 
died  before  1343. l 

The  personal  fortunes  of  Marsiglius  are  of  small  historical 
concern  compared  with  his  book,  which  he  dedicated  to  the 
emperor.  The  volume,  which  was  written  in  two  months,2  was 
as  audacious  as  any  of  the  earlier  writings  of  Luther.  For 
originality  and  boldness  of  statement  the  Middle  Ages  has 
nothing  superior  to  offer.  To  it  may  be  compared  in  modern 
times  Janus'  attack  on  the  doctrine  of  papal  infallibility  at 
the  time  of  the  Vatican  Council.8  Its  Scriptural  radicalism 
was  in  itself  a  literary  sensation. 

In  condemning  the  work,  John  XXII.,  1327,  pronounced  as 
contrary  "  to  apostolic  truth  and  all  law  "  its  statements  that 
Christ  paid  the  stater  to  the  Roman  government  as  a  matter 

1  In  that  year  Clement  spoke  of  Marsiglius  as  dead,  Riezler,  p.  122.    With 
Ockam,   Marsiglius  defended  the  marriage  of  Lewis1  son  to  Margaret  of 
Maultasch,  in  spite  of  the  parties  being  within  the  bounds  of  consanguinity 
forbidden  by  the  Church.     His  defence  is  found  in  Goldast,  II.  1383-1391. 
For  Ockam's  tract,  see  Riezler,  p.  254. 

2  Riezler,  p.  36.     It  contains  150  folio  pages  in  Goldast.     Riezler,  193  sq., 
gives  a  list  of  MS.  copies.     Several  French  translations  appeared.     Gregory 
XI.  in  1376  complained  of  one  of  them.    An  Italian  translation  of  1363  is 
found  in  a  MS.  at  Florence,  Engl.  Hist.  Rev.,  1905,  p.  302.    The  work  was 
translated  into  English  under  the  title  The  Defence  of  Peace  translated  out 
of  Latin  into  English  by  Wyllyam  Marshall,  London,  R.  Wyer,  1635. 

8  Hergenrother-Kirsch,  II.  756,  says :  Unerhort  in  der  christlichen  Welt 
waren  die  ktihnen  Behauptungen  die  sie  zu  Gunsten  ihres  Beschutzers  auf> 
stellten.  Pastor,  I.  85,  says  that  Marsiglius'  theory  of  the  omnipotence  of 
the  state  cut  at  the  root  of  all  individual  and  Church  liberty  and  surpassed 
in  boldness,  novelty,  and  keenness  all  the  attacks  which  the  position  claimed 
by  the  Church  in  the  world  had  been  called  upon  to  resist  up  to  that  time. 


74  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

of  obligation,  that  Christ  did  not  appoint  a  vicar,  that  an  em- 
peror has  the  right  to  depose  a  pope,  and  that  the  orders  of  the 
hierarchy  are  not  of  primitive  origin.  Marsiglius  had  not 
spared  epithets  in  dealing  with  John,  whom  he  called  "  the 
great  dragon,  the  old  serpent."  Clement  VI.  found  no  less 
than  240  heretical  clauses  in  the  book,  and  declared  that  he  had 
never  read  a  worse  heretic  than  Marsiglius.  The  papal  con- 
demnations were  reproduced  by  the  University  of  Paris,  which 
singled  out  for  reprobation  the  statements  that  Peter  is  not 
the  head  of  the  Church,  that  the  pope  may  be  deposed,  and  that 
he  has  no  right  to  inflict  punishments  without  the  emperor's 
consent.1 

The  Defensor  pads  was  a  manifesto  against  the  spiritual  as 
well  as  the  temporal  assumptions  of  the  papacy  and  against  the 
whole  hierarchical  organization  of  the  Church.  Its  title  is 
shrewdly  chosen  in  view  of  the  strifes  between  cities  and  states 
going  on  at  the  time  the  book  was  written,  and  due,  as  it 
claimed,  to  papal  ambition  and  interference.  The  peace  of 
the  Christian  world  would  never  be  established  so  long  as  the 
pope's  false  claims  were  accepted.  The  main  positions  are  the 
following : 2  — 

The  state,  which  was  developed  out  of  the  family,  exists 
that  men  may  live  well  and  peaceably.  The  people  themselves 
are  the  source  of  authority,  and  confer  the  right  to  exercise  it 
upon  the  ruler  whom  they  select.  The  functions  of  the  priest- 
hood are  spiritual  and  educational.  Clerics  are  called  upon 
to  teach  and  to  warn.  In  all  matters  of  civil  misdemeanor 
they  are  responsible  to  the  civil  officer  as  other  men  are. 
They  should  follow  their  Master  by  self-denial.  As  St. 
Bernard  said,  the  pope  needs  no  wealth  or  outward  display  to 
be  a  true  successor  of  Peter. 

The  function  of  binding  and  loosing  is  a  declarative,  not  a 
judicial,  function.  To  God  alone  belongs  the  power  to  for- 

i  Chartul.  Univ.  Parts.,  II.  301. 

8  Mirbt :  Quellen,  pp.  160-152,  presents  a  convenient  summary  of  Part  III.  of 
the  Defensor.  In  this  part  a  resume*  is  given  by  the  author  of  the  preceding 
portion  of  the  work.  Marsiglius  quotes  Aristotle  and  other  classic  writers, 
Augustine  and  other  Fathers,  Hugo  of  St.  Victor  and  other  Schoolmen,  but 
he  ignores  Thomas  Aquinas,  and  never  even  mentions  his  name. 


§  8.      THE  PAPAL  OFFICE   ASSAILED.  IS 

give  sins  and  to  punish.  No  bishop  or  priest  has  a  right  to 
excommunicate  or  interdict  individual  freedom  without  the 
consent  of  the  people  or  its  representative,  the  civil  legislator. 
The  power  to  inflict  punishments  inheres  in  the  congregation 
"  of  the  faithful "  — fidelium.  Christ  said,  "  if  thy  brother 
offend  against  thee,  tell  it  to  the  Church."  He  did  not  say, 
tell  it  to  the  priest.  Heresy  may  be  detected  as  heresy  by  the 
priest,  but  punishment  for  heresy  belongs  to  the  civil  official 
and  is  determined  upon  the  basis  of  the  injury  likely  to  be  done 
by  the  offence  to  society.  According  to  the  teaching  of  the 
Scriptures,  no  one  can  be  compelled  by  temporal  punishment 
and  death  to  observe  the  precepts  of  the  divine  law.1 

General  councils  are  the  supreme  representatives  of  the 
Christian  body,  but  even  councils  may  err.  In  them  laymen 
should  sit  as  well  as  clerics.  Councils  alone  have  the  right 
to  canonize  saints. 

As  for  the  pope,  he  is  the  head  of  the  Church,  not  by  divine 
appointment,  but  only  as  he  is  recognized  by  the  state.  The 
claim  he  makes  to  fulness  of  power,  plenitudo  poteatatis,  con- 
tradicts the  true  nature  of  the  Church.  To  Peter  was  com- 
mitted no  greater  authority  than  was  committed  to  the  other 
Apostles.2  Peter  can  be  called  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles 
only  on  the  ground  that  he  was  older  than  the  rest  or  more 
steadfast  than  they.  He  was  the  bishop  of  Antioch,  not 
the  founder  of  the  Roman  bishopric.  Nor  is  his  presence  in 
Rome  susceptible  of  proof.  The  pre-eminence  of  the  bishop 
of  Rome  depends  upon  the  location  of  his  see  at  the  capital 
of  the  empire.  As  for  sacerdotal  power,  the  pope  has  no 
more  of  it  than  any  other  cleric,  as  Peter  had  no  more  of  it 
than  the  other  Apostles.8 

The  grades  of  the  hierarchy  are  of  human  origin.     Bishops 

1  Ad  observanda  prcecepta  divines  legis  poena  vel  supplicio  temporali  nemo 
ev angelica  scriptura  compelli  prcecipitur,  Part  III.  3. 

2  Nullam  potestatem  eoque  minus  Goactivam  jurisdictionem  habuit  Petrus 
a  Deo  immediate  super  apostolos  reliquos,  II.  15.    This  is  repeated  again  and 
again. 

8  JVbn  plus  sacerdotalis  auctoritatis  essentialis  habet  Rom.  episcopus,  quam 
alter  sacerdos  quilibet  sicut  neque  beatus  Petrus  amplius  ex  hac  habuit 
ceteri*  apostoli*,  II.  14. 


76  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

and  priests  were  originally  equal.  Bishops  derive  their  au- 
thority immediately  from  Christ. 

False  is  the  pope's  claim  to  jurisdiction  over  princes  and 
nations,  a  claim  which  was  the  fruitful  source  of  national 
strifes  and  wars,  especially  in  Italy.  If  necessary,  the  em- 
peror may  depose  a  pope.  This  is  proved  by  the  judgment 
passed  by  Pilate  upon  Christ.  The  state  may,  for  proper 
reasons,  limit  the  number  of  clerics.  The  validity  of  Constan- 
tino's donation  Marsiglius  rejected,  as  Dante  and  John  of  Paris 
had  done  before,  but  he  did  not  surmise  that  the  Isidorean 
decretals  were  an  unblushing  forgery,  a  discovery  left  for 
Laurentius  Valla  to  make  a  hundred  years  later. 

As  for  the  Scriptures,  Marsiglius  declares  them  to  be  the  ulti- 
mate source  of  authority.  They  do  not  derive  that  authority 
from  the  Church.  The  Church  gets  its  authority  from  them. 
In  cases  of  disputed  interpretation,  it  is  for  a  general  council 
to  settle  what  the  true  meaning  of  Scripture  is.1  Obedience 
to  papal  decretals  is  not  a  condition  of  salvation.  If  that 
were  so,  how  is  it  that  Clement  V.  could  make  the  bull  Unam 
ganctam  inoperative  for  France  and  its  king?  Did  not  that 
bull  declare  that  submission  to  the  pope  is  for  every  creature 
a  condition  of  salvation !  Can  a  pope  set  aside  a  condition 
of  salvation  ?  The  case  of  Liberius  proves  that  popes  may  be 
heretics.  As  for  the  qualifications  of  bishops,  archbishops, 
and  patriarchs,  not  one  in  ten  of  them  is  a  doctor  of  theology. 
Many  of  the  lower  clergy  are  not  even  acquainted  with  gram- 
mar. Cardinals  and  popes  are  chosen  not  from  the  ranks  of 
theologians,  but  lawyers,  causidici.  Youngsters  are  made  car- 
dinals who  love  pleasure  and  are  ignorant  in  studies. 

Marsiglius  quotes  repeatedly  such  passages  as  "  My  king- 
dom is  not  of  this  world,"  John  17  :  36,  and  "  Render  unto 
Caesar  the  things  which  are  Caesar's ;  and  to  God  the  things 
which  are  God's,"  Matt.  22 :  21.  These  passages  arid  others, 
such  as  John  6 : 15,  19 : 11,  Luke  12 : 14,  Matt.  17 :  27,  Rom. 
13,  he  opposes  to  texts  which  were  falsely  interpreted  to  the 
advantage  of  the  hierarchy,  such  as  Matt.  16  : 19,  Luke  22  :  38, 
John  21 : 15-17. 

1  Interpretatio  ex  communi  concilia  fldelium  fatta,  etc.,  Pan  III.  1. 


§  8.   THE  PAPAL  OFFICE  ASSAILED.         77 

If  we  overlook  his  doctrine  of  the  supremacy  of  the  state 
over  the  Church,  the  Paduan's  views  correspond  closely  with 
those  held  in  Protestant  Christendom  to-day.  Christ,  he 
said,  excluded  his  Apostles,  disciples,  and  bishops  or  pres- 
byters from  all  earthly  dominion,  both  by  his  example  and  his 
words.1  The  abiding  principles  of  the  Defensor  are  the  final 
authority  of  the  Scriptures,  the  parity  of  the  priesthood  and 
its  obligation  to  civil  law,  the  human  origin  of  the  papacy,  the 
exclusively  spiritual  nature  of  priestly  functions,  and  the  body 
of  Christian  people  in  the  state  or  Church  as  the  ultimate 
source  of  authority  on  earth. 

Marsiglius  has  been  called  by  Catholic  historians  the  fore- 
runner of  Luther  and  Calvin.8  He  has  also  been  called  by 
one  of  them  the  "exciting  genius  of  modern  revolution."8 
Both  of  these  statements  are  not  without  truth.  His  pro- 
gramme was  not  a  scheme  of  reform.  It  was  a  proclamation 
of  complete  change  such  as  the  sixteenth  century  witnessed.  A 
note  in  a  Turin  manuscript  represents  Gerson  as  saying  that 
the  book  is  wonderfully  well  grounded  and  that  the  author  was 
most  expert  in  Aristotle  and  also  in  theology,  and  went  to  the 
roots  of  things.4 

The  tractarian  of  Padua  and  Thomas  Aquinas  were  only  50 
years  apart.  But  the  difference  between  the  searching  epi- 
grams of  the  one  and  the  slow,  orderly  argument  of  the  other 
is  as  wide  as  the  East  is  from  the  West,  the  directness  of  mod- 


1  Exdusit  se  ipsum  et  app.  ac  distipulos  etiam  sues  ipsorumque  successors, 
consequenter  episcopos  sen  presbyteros,  ab  omni  principatu  sen  mundano  re- 
gimine  exemplo  et  sermone,  II.  4. 

a  Dollinger :  Kirchengesch.  II.  259,  2d  ed.,  1843,  says,  »  In  the  Defensor  the 
Calvinistic  system  was,  in  respect  to  Church  power  and  constitution,  already 
marked  out' '  Pastor,  1 . 85,  says,  * 4  If  Calvin  depended  upon  any  of  his  prede- 
cessors for  his  principles  of  Church  government,  it  was  upon  the  keen  writer 
of  the  fourteenth  century.1' 

8  Pastor,  1. 84,  shifts  this  notoriety  from  Huss  to  Marsiglius.  Riezler,  p.  232, 
and  Haller,  p.  77,  compare  Marsiglius'  keenness  of  intellect  with  the  Reform- 
ers', but  deny  to  him  their  religious  warmth. 

4  Eat  liber  mirabiliter  bene  fundatus.  Et  fuit  homo  multum  peritus  in 
doctrina  Aristoteleia,  etc.,  Engl  Hist.  Rev.,  p.  298.  The  Turin  MS.  dates 
from  1416,  that  is,  contemporary  with  Gerson.  In  this  MS.  John  of  Paris'  De 
potentate  is  bound  up  with  the  Defensor. 


78  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

ern  thought  from  the  cumbersome  method  of  mediaeval  scho- 
lasticism. It  never  occurred  to  Thomas  Aquinas  to  think  out 
beyond  the  narrow  enclosure  of  Scripture  interpretation  built 
up  by  other  Schoolmen  and  mediaeval  popes.  He  buttressed 
up  the  regime  he  found  realized  before  him.  He  used  the  old 
misinterpretations  of  Scripture  and  produced  no  new  idea  on 
government.  Marsiglius,  independent  of  the  despotism  of 
ecclesiastical  dogma,  went  back  to  the  free  and  elastic  prin- 
ciples of  the  Apostolic  Church  government.  He  broke  the 
moulds  in  which  the  ecclesiastical  thinking  of  centuries  had 
been  cast,  and  departed  from  Augustine  in  claiming  for  here- 
tics a  rational  and  humane  treatment.  The  time  may  yet 
come  when  the  Italian  people  will  follow  him  as  the  herald 
of  a  still  better  order  than  that  which  they  have,  and  set  aside 
the  sacerdotal  theory  of  the  Christian  ministry  as  an  inven- 
tion of  man.1 

*•  Germany  furnished  a  strong  advocate  of  the  independent 
rights  of  the  emperor,  in  Lupold  of  Bebenburg,  who  died  in 
1363.  He  remained  dean  of  Wiirzburg  until  he  was  made 
bishop  of  Bamberg  in  1353.  But  he  did  not  attack  the  spir- 
itual jurisdiction  of  the  Apostolic  See.  Lupold's  chief  work 
was  The  Rights  of  the  Kingdom  and  Empire — dejuriluaregni 
et  imperil,  —  written  after  the  declarations  of  Reuse.  It  has 
been  called  the  oldest  attempt  at  a  theory  of  the  rights  of  the 
German  state.2  Lupold  appeals  to  the  events  of  history. 

In  defining  the  rights  of  the  empire,  this  author  asserts  that 
an  election  is  consummated  by  the  majority  of  the  electors  and 
that  the  emperor  does  not  stand  in  need  of  confirmation  by 
the  pope.  He  holds  his  authority  independently  from  God. 
Charlemagne  exercised  imperial  functions  before  he  was 

1  Compared  with  Wyclif,  a  pamphleteer  as  keen  as  he,  Marsiglius  did  not 
enter  into  the  merits  of  distinctly  theological  doctrine  nor  see  the  deep  con- 
nection between  the  dogma  of  transubstantiation  and  sacramental  penance  and 
papal  tyranny  as  the  English  reformer  did.    But  so  far  as  questions  of  gov- 
ernment are  concerned,  he  went  as  far  as  Wyclif  or  farther.    See  the  com- 
parison, as  elaborated  by  Poole,  p.  275. 

2  Der  dlteste  Versuch  einer  Theorie  des  deutschen  Staatsrecht*,  Riezler, 
p.  180.    Two  other  works  by  Lupold  have  come  down  to  us.    See  Riezler, 
pp.  180-192. 


§  8.      THE  PAPAL  OFFICE  ASSAILED.  79 

anointed  and  crowned  by  Leo.  The  oath  the  emperor  takes 
to  the  pope  is  not  the  oath  of  fealty  such  as  a  vassal  renders, 
but  a  promise  to  protect  him  and  the  Church.  The  pope  has 
no  authority  to  depose  the  emperor.  His  only  prerogative  is 
to  announce  that  he  is  worthy  of  deposition.  The  right  to 
depose  belongs  to  the  electors.  As  for  Constantino's  dona- 
tion, it  is  plain  Constantino  did  not  confer  the  rule  of  the 
West  upon  the  bishop  of  Rome,  for  Constantino  divided  both 
the  West  and  the  East  among  his  sons.  Later,  Theodosius 
and  other  emperors  exercised  dominion  in  Rome.  The  notice 
of  Constantino's  alleged  gift  to  Sylvester  has  come  through 
the  records  of  Sylvester  and  has  the  appearance  of  being 
apocryphal. 

The  papal  assailants  did  not  have  the  field  all  to  them- 
selves. The  papacy  also  had  vigorous  literary  champions. 
Chief  among  them  were  Augustinus  Triumphus  and  Alva- 
rus  Pelagius.1  The  first  dedicated  his  leading  work  to  John 
XXII.,  and  the  second  wrote  at  the  pope's  command.  The 
modern  reader  will  find  in  these  tracts  the  crassest  exposi- 
tion of  the  extreme  claims  of  the  papacy,  satisfying  to  the 
most  enthusiastic  ultramontane,  but  calling  for  apology  from 
sober  Catholic  historians.2 

1  For  the  papal  tracts  by  Petrus  de  Palude  and  Konrad  of  Megenberg,  d. 
1374,  see  Riezler,  p.  287  sqq.  The  works  are  still  unpublished.  Konrad's 
Planctus  ecclesice  is  addressed  to  Benedict  in  these  lines,  which  make  the 
pope  out  to  be  the  summit  of  the  earth,  the  wonder  of  the  world,  the  door- 
keeper of  heaven,  a  treasury  of  delights,  the  only  sun  for  the  world. 

41  Flos  et  apex  mundi,  qui  totius  ease  rotundi 
Nectare  dulcorum  conditus  aromate  morum 
Orbis  papa  stupor,  clausor  call  et  reserator, 
Tu  sidus  clarum,  thesaurus  deliciarum 
Sedes  sanctapolus,  tu  mundo  sol  modo  solus." 

*  Pastor,  I.  85.  Hergenrother-Kirsch,  II.  767,  complains  that  these  two 
authors  push  matters  beyond  the  limits  of  truth,  "  making  the  pope  a  semi- 
god,  the  absolute  ruler  of  the  world.11  See  Haller,  p.  82  sq.  Haller  says  it 
is  a  common  thing  among  the  common  people  in  Italy  for  a  devout  man  to 
call  the  pope  a  god  upon  earth,  un  Dio  in  terra.  One  of  the  smaller  tracts 
already  referred  to  is  printed  by  Finke  in  Aus  den  Tagen,  etc.,  LXIX-XCIX, 
and  three  others  by  Scholz,  Publizistik,  pp.  486-616.  See  Scholz's  criticism, 
pp.  172-189.  Finke,  p.  260,  is  in  doubt  about  the  authorship. 


80  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

Triumphus,  an  Italian,  born  in  Ancona,  1243,  made  arch- 
bishop of  Nazareth  and  died  at  Naples,  1328,  was  a  zealous 
advocate  of  Boniface  VIII.  His  leading  treatise,  The 
Power  of  the  Church,  —  Summa  de  potestate  ecclesiastica,  — 
vindicates  John  XXII.  for  his  decision  on  the  question  of 
evangelical  poverty  and  for  his  opposition  to  the  emperor's 
dominion  in  Italy.1  The  pope  has  unrestricted  power  on  the 
earth.  It  is  so  vast  that  even  he  himself  cannot  know  fully 
what  he  is  able  to  do.2  His  judgment  is  the  judgment  of  God. 
Their  tribunals  are  one.8  His  power  of  granting  indulgences 
is  so  great  that,  if  he  so  wished,  he  could  empty  purgatory 
of  its  denizens  provided  that  conditions  were  complied  with.4 

In  spiritual  matters  he  may  err,  because  he  remains  a  man, 
and  when  he  holds  to  heresy,  he  ceases  to  be  pope.  Council 
cannot  depose  him  nor  any  other  human  tribunal,  for  the 
pope  is  above  all  and  can  be  judged  by  none.  But,  being  a 
heretic,  he  ceases,  ipso  facto,  to  be  pope,  and  the  condition 
then  is  as  it  would  be  after  one  pope  is  dead  and  his  succes- 
sor not  yet  elected. 

The  pope  himself  may  choose  an  emperor,  if  he  so  please, 
and  may  withdraw  the  right  of  election  from  the  electors  or 
depose  them  from  office.  As  vicar  of  God,  he  is  above  all 
kings  and  princes. 

The  Spanish  Franciscan,  Alvarus  Pelagius,  was  not  always 
as  extravagant  as  his  Augustinian  contemporary.5  He  was 
professor  of  law  at  Perugia.  He  fled  from  Rome  at  the  approach 
of  Lewis  the  Bavarian,  1328,  was  then  appointed  papal  peni- 

1  For  edd.  of  Triumphus1  tract,  see  Potthast,  Bibl.  Hist,  under  Trium- 
phus.    Riezler,  p.  286,  dates  the  tract  1324-1328,  Haller,  p.  83,  1322,  Scholz, 
p.  172,  1320.     See  Poole,  262  sq. 

2  Nee  credo,  quod  papa  possit  scire  totum  quod  potest  facere  per  potentiam 
suam,  32.  3,  quoted  by  Pcttlinger,  Papstthum,  p.  433. 

8  This  famous  passage  runs  sententia  papas  sententia  Dei  una  sententia 
eat,  quid  unum  consistorium  est  ipsius  papa  et  ipsius  Dei  .  .  .  cujus  con- 
sistorii  claviger  et  ostiarius  est  ipse  papa.  See  Schwab,  Gerson,  p.  24. 

4  Totum  purgatorium  evacuare  potest,  3.  23.  Dollinger,  p.  451,  says  of 
Triumphus'  tract  that  on  almost  every  page  the  Church  is  represented  as  a 
dwarf  with  the  head  of  a  giant,  that  is,  the  pope. 

6  He  incorporated  into  his  work  entire  sections  from  James  of  Viterbo,  De 
regimine  christiano,  Scholz,  p.  151. 


§  8.      THE  PAPAL   OFFICE  ASSAILED.  81 

tentiary  at  Avignon,  and  later  bishop  of  the  Portuguese  dio- 
cese of  Silves.  His  Lament  over  the  Church,  —  de  planctu 
ecclesice,1  —  while  exalting  the  pope  to  the  skies,  bewails  the 
low  spiritual  estate  into  which  the  clergy  and  the  Church  had 
fallen.  Christendom,  he  argues,  which  is  but  one  kingdom, 
can  have  but  one  head,  the  pope.  Whoever  does  not  accept 
him  as  the  head  does  not  accept  Christ.  And  whosoever, 
with  pure  and  believing  eye,  sees  the  pope,  sees  Christ  him- 
self.2 Without  communion  with  the  pope  there  is  no  salva- 
tion. He  wields  both  swords  as  Christ  did,  and  in  him  the 
passage  of  Jer.  1:10  is  fulfilled,  "  I  have  this  day  set  thee 
over  the  nations  and  over  the  kingdoms  to  pluck  up 
and  to  break  down,  to  destroy  and  to  overthrow,  to  build 
and  to  plant."  Unbelievers,  also,  Alvarus  asserts  to  be  le- 
gally under  the  pope's  jurisdiction,  though  they  may  not  be 
so  in  fact,  and  the  pope  may  proceed  against  them  as  God 
did  against  the  Sodomites.  Idolaters,  Jews,  and  Saracens  are 
alike  amenable  to  the  pope's  authority  and  subject  to  his 
punishments.  He  rules,  orders,  disposes  and  judges  all 
things  as  he  pleases.  His  will  is  highest  wisdom,  and  what 
he  pleases  to  do  has  the  force  of  law.3  Wherever  the  su- 
preme pontiff  is,  there  is  the  Roman  Church,  and  he  cannot 
be  compelled  to  remain  in  Rome.4  He  is  the  source  of  all 
law  and  may  decide  what  is  the  right.  To  doubt  this  means 
exclusion  from  life  eternal. 

As  the  vicar  of  Christ,  the  pope  is  supreme  over  the  state. 
He  confers  the  sword  which  the  prince  wields.  As  the  body 
is  subject  to  the  soul,  so  princes  are  subject  to  the  pope. 
Constantine's  donation  made  the  pope,  in  fact,  monarch  over 
the  Occident.  He  transferred  the  empire  to  Charlemagne  in 
trust.  The  emperor's  oath  is  an  oath  of  fealty  and  homage. 

1  Dollinger,  p.  433,  places  its  composition  in  1329,  Riezler,  1331,  Haller,  be- 
tween 1330-1332.    Alvarus  issued  three  editions,  the  third  at  Santiago,  1340. 

2  Verepapa  representat  Christum  in  terris,  utqui  videt  cum  oculo  contem- 
plative etfideli  videat  et  Christum,  I.  13. 

8  Apud  eumestpro  ratione  voluntas,  et  quod  ei  placet  ley  is  habet  vigorem, 
I.  46. 

*  Unum  est  consistorium  et  tribunal  Christi  et  papa,  1.20.  Ubicunque  est 
papa,  ibi  eat  eccles.  Bom.  .  .  ,    Non  cogitur  stare  JBomcc,  1. 31. 
o 


82  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

The  views  of  Augustinus  Triumphus  and  Alvarus  followed 
the  papal  assertion  and  practice  of  centuries,  and  the  assent 
or  argument  of  the  Schoolmen.  Marsiglius  had  the  sanction 
of  Scripture  rationally  interpreted,  and  his  views  were  con- 
firmed by  the  experiences  of  history.  After  the  lapse  of 
nearly  500  years,  opinion  in  Christendom  remains  divided, 
and  the  most  extravagant  language  of  Triumphus  and  Alva- 
rus is  applauded,  and  Marsiglius,  the  exponent  of  modern 
liberty  and  of  the  historical  sense  of  Scripture,  continues  to 
be  treated  as  a  heretic. 

§  9.    The  Financial  Policy  of  the  Avignon  Popes. 

The  most  notable  feature  of  the  Avignon  period  of  the  pa- 
pacy, next  to  its  subserviency  to  France,  was  the  development 
of  the  papal  financial  system  and  the  unscrupulous  traffic 
which  it  plied  in  spiritual  benefits  and  ecclesiastical  offices. 
The  theory  was  put  into  practice  that  every  spiritual  favor  has 
its  price  in  money.  It  was  John  XXII. 's  achievement  to  re- 
duce the  taxation  of  Christendom  to  a  finely  organized  system. 

The  papal  court  had  a  proper  claim  for  financial  support  on 
all  parts  of  the  Latin  Church,  for  it  ministered  to  all.  This 
just  claim  gave  way  to  a  practice  which  made  it  seem  as  if 
Christendom  existed  to  sustain  the  papal  establishment  in  a 
state  of  luxury  and  ease.  Avignon  took  on  the  aspect  of  an 
exchange  whose  chief  business  was  getting  money,  a  vast  bu- 
reau where  privileges,  labelled  as  of  heavenly  efficacy,  were 
sold  for  gold.  Its  machinery  for  collecting  moneys  was  more 
extensive  and  intricate  than  the  machinery  of  any  secular 
court  of  the  age.  To  contemporaries,  commercial  transactions 
at  the  central  seat  of  Christendom  seemed  much  more  at  home 
than  services  of  religious  devotion. 

Themindof  John  XXII.  ran  naturally  to  the  counting-house 
and  ledger  system.1  He  came  from  Cahors,  the  town  noted  for 
its  brokers  and  bankers.  Under  his  favor  the  seeds  of  com- 

1  Holler  says,  p.  108,  the  characteristic  of  John's  pontificate  was  finance, 
der  Fiskalismus.  Tangl,  p.  40,  compares  his  commercial  instincts  to  the 
concern  for  high  ideals  which  animated  Gregory  VII,,  Alexander  III.,  and  In- 
nocent III.  See  vol.  V,  I.,  pp.  787,  sqq. 


§  9.      FINANCIAL  POLICY   OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.       83 

mercialisra  in  the  dispensation  of  papal  appointments  sown 
in  preceding  centuries  grew  to  ripe  fruitage.  Simony  was 
an  old  sin.  Gregory  VII.  fought  against  it.  John  legalized 
its  practice. 

Freewill  offerings  and  Peter's  pence  had  been  made  to 
popes  from  of  old.  States,  held  as  fiefs  of  the  papal  chair,  had 
paid  fixed  tribute.  For  the  expenses  of  the  crusades,  Inno- 
cent III.  had  inaugurated  the  system  of  taxing  the  entire 
Church.  The  receipts  from  this  source  developed  the  love  of 
money  at  the  papal  court  and  showed  its  power,  and,  no  mat- 
ter how  abstemious  a  pope  might  be  in  his  own  habits,  greed 
grew  like  a  weed  in  his  ecclesiastical  household.  St.  Ber- 
nard, d.  1153,  complained  bitterly  of  the  cupidity  of  the 
Romans,  who  made  every  possible  monetary  gain  out  of  the 
spiritual  favors  of  which  the  Vatican  was  the  dispenser.  By 
indulgence,  this  appetite  became  more  and  more  exacting,  and 
under  John  and  his  successors  the  exploitation  of  Christendom 
was  reduced  by  the  curia  to  a  fine  art. 

The  theory  of  ecclesiastical  appointments,  held  in  the  Avi- 
gnon period,  was  that,  by  reason  of  the  fulness  of  power 
which  resides  in  the  Apostolic  See,  the  pope  may  dispense  all 
the  dignities  and  benefices  of  the  Christian  world.  The  pope 
is  absolute  in  his  own  house,  that  is,  the  Church. 

This  principle  had  received  its  full  statement  from  Clement 
IV.,  1265.1  Clement's  bull  declared  that  the  supreme  pontiff 
is  superior  to  any  customs  which  were  in  vogue  of  filling 
Church  offices  and  conflicted  with  his  prerogative.  In  partic- 
ular he  made  it  a  law  that  all  offices,  dignities,  and  benefices 
were  subject  to  papal  appointment  which  became  vacant  apud 
sedem  apostolicam  or  in  curia,  that  is,  while  the  holders  were 
visiting  the  papal  court.  This  law  was  modified  by  Gregory 
X.  at  the  Council  of  Lyons,  1274,  in  such  a  way  as  to  restore 
the  right  of  election,  provided  the  pope  failed  to  make  an  ap- 
pointment within  a  month.2  Boniface  VIII.,  1295,  again  ex- 

1  Licet  ecclesiarum.    See  Lib.  sextus,  III.  4,  2.     Friedberg's  ed.,  II.  102, 
Lux,  p.  5,  says  romanus  pontifex  supremus  collator,  ad  quern  plenaria  de 
omnibus  totius  orbts  beneficiis  eccles.  dispositio  jure  naturo  pertinet,  etc. 

2  Lux,  p.  12  ;  Hefele  :  Conciliengesch.  VI.  151. 


84  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

tended  the  enactment  by  putting  in  the  pope's  hands  all  livings 
whose  occupants  died  within  two  days'  journey  of  the  curia, 
wherever  it  might  at  the  time  be.1  Innocent  IV.  was  the 
first  pope  to  exercise  the  right  of  reservation  or  collation  on 
a  large  scale.  In  1248,  out  of  20  places  in  the  cathedral  of 
Constance,  17  were  occupied  by  papal  appointees,  and  there 
were  14  "  expectants  "  under  appointment  in  advance  of  the 
deaths  of  the  occupants.  In  1255,  Alexander  IV.  limited  the 
number  of  such  expectants  to  4  for  each  church.  In  1265, 
Clement  IV.  forbade  all  elections  in  England  in  the  usual  way 
until  his  commands  were  complied  with,  and  reserved  them  to 
himself.  The  same  pontiff,  on  the  pretext  of  disturbances  going 
on  in  Sicily,  made  a  general  reservation  of  all  appointments  in 
the  realm,  otherwise  subject  to  episcopal  or  capitular  choice. 
Urban  IV.  withdrew  the  right  of  election  from  the  Ghibelline 
cities  of  Lombardy ;  Martin  IV.  and  Honorius  IV.  applied  the 
same  rule  to  the  cathedral  appointments  of  Sicily  and  Aragon ; 
Honorius  IV.  monopolized  all  the  appointments  of  the  Latin 
Church  in  the  East;  and  Boniface  VIII., in  view  of  Philip  IV.'s 
resistance,  reserved  to  himself  the  appointments  to  all  "  cathe- 
dral and  regular  churches  "  in  France.  Of  16  French  sees  which 
became  vacant,  1295-1301,  only  one  was  filled  in  the  usual  way 
by  election.2 

With  the  haughty  assumption  of  Clement  IV.'s  bull  and 
the  practice  of  later  popes,  papal  writers  fell  in.  Augustinus 
Triumphus,  writing  in  1324,  asserted  that  the  pope  is  above 
all  canon  law  and  has  the  right  to  dispose  of  all  ecclesiastical 
places.8  The  papal  system  of  appointments  included  provi- 
sions, expectances,  and  reservations.4 

1  Lux,  p.  13 ;  Friedberg :  Reservationen  in  Herzog,  XVI.  672. 

2  Lux,  p.  17  sqq.,  and  Haller,  p.  38,  with  authorities. 

8  Verum  super  ipsum  jus,  potest  dispensare,  etc.  Quoted  by  Gieseler, 
II.  123. 

4  A  provision,  that  is,  provider e  ecclesice  de  episcopo  signified  in  the 
first  instance  a  promotion,  and  afterwards  the  papal  right  to  supersede  ap- 
pointments made  in  the  usual  way  by  the  pope's  own  arbitrary  appointment. 
The  methods  of  papal  appointment  are  given  in  Liber  sextus,  I.  16,  18 ; 
Friedberg's  ed.,  II.  969.  See  Stubbs,  Const.  Hist.,  III.  320.  "  Collations1' 
was  also  used  as  a  general  term  to  cover  this  papal  privilege.  The  formulas 


§  9,      FINANCIAL  POLICY   OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.       85 

In  setting  aside  the  vested  rights  of  chapters  and  other 
electors,  the  pope  often  joined  hands  with  kings  and  princes. 
In  the  Avignon  period  a  regular  election  by  a  chapter  was  the 
exception. l  The  Chronicles  of  England  and  France  teem  with 
usurped  casesof  papal  appointment.  In  1322  the  pope  reserved  to 
himself  all  the  appointments  in  episcopal,  cathedral,  and  abbey 
churches,  and  of  all  priors  in  the  sees  of  Aquileja,  Ravenna, 
Milan,  Genoa,  and  Pisa.2  In  1329  he  made  such  reservation 
for  the  German  dioceses  of  Metz,  Toul,  and  Verdun,  and  in 
1339  for  Cologne.8  There  was  no  living  in  Latin  Christendom 
which  was  safe  from  the  pope's  hands.  There  were  not 
places  enough  to  satisfy  all  the  favorites  of  the  papal  house- 
hold and  the  applicants  pressed  upon  the  pope's  attention  by 
kings  and  princes.  The  spiritual  and  administrative  qualities 
of  the  appointees  were  not  too  closely  scrutinized.  Frenchmen 
were  appointed  to  sees  in  England,  Germany,  Denmark,  and 
other  countries,  who  were  utterly  unfamiliar  with  the  lan- 
guages of  those  countries.  Marsiglius  complains  of  these 
"  monstrosities  "  and,  among  other  unfit  appointments,  men- 
tions the  French  bishops  of  Winchester  and  Lund,  neither  of 
whom  knew  English  or  Danish.  The  archbishop  of  Lund, 
after  plundering  his  diocese,  returned  to  Southern  France. 

To  the  supreme  right  of  appointment  was  added  the  su- 
preme right  to  tax  the  clergy  and  all  ecclesiastical  property. 
The  supreme  right  to  exercise  authority  over  kings,  the  su- 
preme right  to  set  aside  canonical  rules,  the  supreme  right  to 
make  appointments  in  the  Church,  the  supreme  right  to  tax 
Church  property,  these  were,  in  their  order,  the  rights  asserted 
by  the  popes  of  the  Middle  Ages.  The  scandal  growing  out 

of  this  period  commonly  ran  de  apostol  potestatis  plenitudine  reservamus. 
See  John's  bull  of  July  30, 1822,  Lux,  p.  62  sq.  Bogare,  monere,  precipere  are 
the  words  generally  used  by  pope  Innocent  III.,  1198-1216,  see  Hinschtus, 
II.  114  sq.  Alexander  III.  used  the  expression  ipsum  commendamus  rogantes 
et  rogando  mandantes  and  others  like  it.  Hinschius,  III.  116,  dates  insistence 
on  reservations  as  a  right  from  the  time  of  Lucius  III.,  1181-1185. 

1  Haller,  p.  107. 

a  Lux,  p.  61  sq.  This  author,  pp.  69-106,  gives  67  documents  not  before 
published,  containing  reservations  by  John  XXII.  and  his  successors. 

8  Kirsch  :  Kollektorien,  p.  xxv  sq. 


86  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

of  this  unlimited  right  of  taxation  called  forth  the  most  vig- 
orous complaints  from  clergy  and  laity,  and  was  in  large  part 
the  cause  which  led  to  the  summoning  of  the  three  great 
Reformatory  councils  of  the  fifteenth  century.1 

Popes  had  acted  upon  this  theory  of  jurisdiction  over  the 
property  of  the  Church  long  before  John  XXII.  They  levied 
taxes  for  crusades  in  the  Orient,  or  to  free  Italy  from  rebels 
for  the  papal  state.  They  gave  their  sanction  to  princes  and 
kings  to  levy  taxes  upon  the  Church  for  secular  purposes, 
especially  for  wars.2  In  the  bull  Clericis  laicos,  Boniface  did 
not  mean  to  call  in  question  the  propriety  of  the  Church's  con- 
tributing to  the  necessities  of  the  state.  What  he  demanded 
was  that  he  himself  should  be  recognized  as  arbiter  in  such 
matters,  and  it  was  this  demand  which  gave  offence  to  the 
French  king  and  to  France  itself.  The  question  was  much 
discussed  whether  the  pope  may  commit  simony.  Thomas 
Aquinas  gave  an  affirmative  answer.  Alvarus  Pelagius  8 
thought  differently,  and  declared  that  the  pope  is  exempt 
from  the  laws  and  canons  which  treat  of  simony.  Augustinus 
Triumphus  took  the  same  ground.*  The  pope  is  not  bound 
by  laws.  He  is  above  laws.  Simony  is  not  possible  to  him. 

In  estimating  the  necessities  of  the  papal  court,  which 
justified  the  imposition  of  customs,  the  Avignon  popes  were 
no  longer  their  own  masters.  They  were  the  creatures  of  the 
camera  and  the  hungry  horde  of  officials  and  sycophants 


Hergenrdther-Kirsch,  II.  762.  K.  MQller:  Kirchengesch.,  II.  45. 
Kirsch  :  Finanzverwaltung,  p.  70.  Pastor,  in  the  1st  ed.  of  his  Hist,  of  the 
Popes,  I.  63,  said  das  unheilvolle  System  der  Annaten,  Reservationen  und 
Expektanzen  hat  seit  Johann  XXII.  zur  Auabildung  gelangt. 

2  The  course  of  Clement  V.,  in  allowing  grants  to  Philip  the  Fair,  Charles 
of  Valois,  and  other  princes,  was  followed  by  John.  In  1316  he  granted  to  the 
king  of  France  a  tenth  and  aunates  for  four  years,  in  1326  a  tenth  for  two  years, 
and  in  1333  a  tenth  for  six  years.  The  English  king,  in  1317,  was  given  a  share  of 
the  tenth  appointed  by  the  Council  of  Vienne  for  a  crusade  and  at  the  same 
time  one-half  of  the  annates.  Again,  in  the  years  1319,  1322,  1330,  a  tenth  was 
accorded  to  the  same  sovereign.  See  Haller,  p.  110  sq. 

8  De  planctu  eccles.,  II.  14,  papa  legibus  loquentibus  de  simonia  et  canoni- 
bus  solutus  est. 

4  V.  3,  certum  est,  summum  pontiflcem  canonicam  simoniam  a  jure  positive 
prohibitam  non  posse  commtttere,  quia  ipse  est  supra  jus  et  eum  jura  positiva 
non  ligant. 


§  9.      FINANCIAL  POLICY   OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.       87 

whose  clamor  filled  the  papal  offices  day  and  night.  These 
retainers  were  not  satisfied  with  bread.  Every  superior  office 
in  Christendom  had  its  value  in  terms  of  gold  and  silver. 
When  it  was  filled  by  papal  appointment,  a  befitting  fee  was 
the  proper  recognition.  If  a  favor  was  granted  to  a  prince  in 
the  appointment  of  a  favorite,  the  papal  court  was  pretty  sure 
to  seize  some  new  privilege  as  a  compensation  for  itself.  Prec- 
edent was  easily  made  a  permanent  rule.  Where  the  pope  once 
invaded  the  rights  of  a  chapter,  he  did  not  relinquish  his  hold, 
and  an  admission  fee  once  fixed  was  not  renounced.  We  may 
not  be  surprised  at  the  rapacity  which  was  developed  at  the 
papal  court.  That  was  to  be  expected.  It  grew  out  of  the 
false  papal  theory  and  the  abiding  qualities  of  human  nature.1 
The  details  governing  the  administration  of  the  papal 
finances  John  set  forth  in  two  bulls  of  1316  and  1331.  His 
scheme  fixed  the  financial  policy  of  the  papacy  and  sacred 
college.2  The  sources  from  which  the  papacy  drew  its  reve- 
nues in  the  fourteenth  century  were :  (1)  freewill  offerings, 
so  called,  given  for  ecclesiastical  appointments  and  other  papal 
favors,  called  visitations,  annates,  aervitia  ;  and  (2)  tributes 
from  feudal  states  such  as  Naples,  Sicily,  Sardinia,  and  England, 
and  the  revenues  from  the  papal  state  in  Italy.8  The  moneys 
so  received  were  apportioned  between  four  parties,  the  pope, 
the  college  of  cardinals,  and  their  two  households.  Under 
John  XXII.  the  freewill  offerings,  so  called,  came  to  be  re- 
garded as  obligatory  fees.  Every  papal  gift  had  its  compen- 
sation. There  was  a  list  of  prices,  and  it  remained  in  force  till 
changed  on  the  basis  of  new  estimates  of  the  incomes  of  ben- 
efices. To  answer  objections,  John  XXII.,  in  his  bull  of  1331, 
insisted  that  the  prices  set  upon  such  favors  were  not  a  charge 
for  the  grace  imparted,  but  a  charge  for  the  labor  required  for 
writing  the  pertinent  documents.4  But  the  declaration  did 

1  Kirsch :  Kollektorien,  p.  xii  sq.  and  other  Catholic  writers  make  some 
defence  of  John's  financial  measures  on  the  ground  that  the  sources  of  income 
from  the  State  of  the  Church  dried  up  when  the  papacy  was  transferred  to 
Avignon. 

2  For  the  details,  see  Tangl,  p.  20  sqq.  8  See  vol.  V.  1,  p.  787  sqq. 

4  Non  habita  considerations  ad  valorem  beneftcii,  de  quo  fiet  gratia  sed  ad 
laborem  scripturce  dumtaxat.    See  Tangl,  p.  21. 


88  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

not  remove  the  ill  odor  of  the  practice.  The  taxes  levied  were 
out  of  all  proportion  to  the  actual  cost  of  the  written  docu- 
ments, and  the  privileges  were  not  to  be  had  without  money. 

These  payments  were  regularly  recorded  in  registers  or 
ledgers  kept  by  the  papal  secretaries  of  the  camera.  The  de- 
tails of  the  papal  exchequer,  extant  in  the  Archives  of  the 
Vatican,  have  only  recently  been  subjected  to  careful  investi- 
gation through  the  liberal  policy  of  Leo  XIII.,  and  have  made 
possible  a  new  chapter  in  works  setting  forth  the  history 
of  the  Church  in  this  fourteenth  century.1 

These  studies  confirm  the  impression  left  by  the  chroniclers 
and  tract- writers  of  the  fourteenth  century.  The  money 
dealings  of  the  papal  court  were  on  a  vast  scale,  and  the 
transactions  were  according  to  strict  rules  of  merchandise.2 
Avignon  was  a  great  money  centre.  Spiritual  privileges  were 
vouched  for  by  carefully  worded  and  signed  contracts  and 
receipts.  The  papal  commercial  agents  went  to  all  parts  of 
Europe. 

Archbishop,  bishop,  and  abbot  paid  for  the  letters  confirm- 
ing their  titles  to  their  dignities.  The  appointees  to  lower 
clerical  offices  did  the  same.  There  were  fees  for  all  sorts  of 
concessions,  dispensations  and  indulgences,  granted  to  lay  man 
and  to  priest.  The  priest  born  out  of  wedlock,  the  priest 
seeking  to  be  absent  from  his  living,  the  priest  about  to  be 

1  Woker  took  up  the  study  in  1878,  and  has  been  followed  by  a  number  of 
scholars  such  as  Tangl,  Gottlob,  Goeller,  Haller,  Baumgarten,  Schulte,  and 
especially  Dr.  Kirsch,  professor  of  church  history  in  the  Catholic  University 
of  Freiburg,  Switzerland.     See,  for  a  full  description,  Baumgarten,  pp.  v- 
zxiii.    The  subject  involves  a  vast  array  of  figures  and  commercial  briefs  of 
all  kinds,  and  includes  the  organization  of  the  camera,  the  system  of  collec- 
tion, the  graduated  scales  of  prices,  the  transmission  of  moneys  to  Avignon, 
the  division  of  the  receipts  between  the  pope  and  the  cardinals,  the  values  of 
the  numerous  coins,  etc.     Garampi,  a  keeper  of  the  Vatican  Archives,  in  the 
eighteenth  century  arranged  these  registers  according  to  countries.     See 
Kirsch,  Kollektorien,  ip.  vii,  and  Rtickkehr,  p.  xli-1 ;  Tangl,  vi  sqq. ;  Baum- 
garten, viii,  x  sqq. 

2  Kirsch :  Kollektorien,  p.  vii,  note,  gives  four  different  headings  under 
which  the  moneys  were  recorded,  namely :    (1)    census  and    visitations ; 
(2)  bulls ;  (3)  servitia  communia ;  (4)  sundry  sources.     He  also  give*.  «ae 
entries  under  which  disbursements  were  entered,  such  as  the  kitchen,  books 
and  parchments,  palfreys,  journeys,  wars,  etc. 


§  9.      FINANCIAL  POLICY  OP  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.      89 

ordained  before  the  canonical  age,  all  had  to  have  a  dispensa- 
tion, and  these  cost  money. l  The  larger  revenues  went  directly 
into  the  papal  treasury  and  the  treasury  of  the  camera.  The 
smaller  fees  went  to  notaries,  doorkeepers,  to  individual  cardi- 
nals, and  other  officials.  These  intermediaries  stood  in  a  long 
line  with  palms  upturned.  To  use  a  modern  term,  it  was  an 
intricate  system  of  graft.  The  beneficiaries  were  almost  end- 
less. The  large  body  of  lower  officials  are  usually  designated 
in  the  ledgers  by  the  general  term  "  familiars  "  of  the  pope  or 
camera.2  The  notaries,  or  copyists,  received  stipulated  sums 
for  every  document  they  transcribed  and  service  they  per- 
formed. However  exorbitant  the  demands  might  seem,  the 
petitioners  were  harried  by  delays  and  other  petty  annoyances 
till  in  sheer  weariness  they  yielded. 

The  taxes  levied  upon  the  higher  clergy  were  usually  paid 
at  Avignon  by  the  parties  in  person.  For  the  collection  of  the 
annates  from  the  lower  clergy  and  of  tithes  and  other  general 
taxes,  collectors  and  subcollectors  were  appointed.  We  find 
these  officials  in  different  parts  of  Europe.  They  had  their 
fixed  salaries,  and  sent  periodical  reckonings  to  the  central 
bureau  at  Avignon.3  The  transmission  of  the  moneys  they  col- 
lected was  often  a  dangerous  business.  Not  infrequently  the 
carriers  were  robbed  on  their  way,  and  the  system  came  into 
vogue  of  employing  merchant  and  banking  houses  to  do  this 
business,  especially  Italian  firms,  which  had  representatives  in 
Northern  and  Central  Europe.  The  ledgers  show  a  great 
diversity  in  the  names  and  value  of  the  coins.  And  it  was  a 
nice  process  to  estimate  the  values  of  these  moneys  in  the 
terms  of  the  more  generally  accepted  standards.4 

1  Tangl,  74  sq. 

8  As  an  example  of  the  host  of  these  officials  who  had  to  be  fed,  see  Tangl, 
pp.  64-67.  He  gives  a  list  of  the  fees  paid  by  agents  of  the  city  of  Cologne, 
which  was  seeking  certain  bulls  in  1393.  The  title  "  secretary  "  does  not 
occur  till  the  reign  of  Benedict  XII.,  1338.  Goeller,  p.  46. 

8  One  of  the  allowances  made  by  John  XXII.  for  collectors  was  5  gold  florins 
a  day.  Kirsch  :  Kollektorien,  VII.  sqq.,  XLIX.  sqq.  Kirsch  gives  the  official 
ledgers  of  papal  collectors  in  Basel,  pp.  4-32,  and  other  sees  of  Germany. 
Sometimes  the  bishop  acted  as  collector  in  his  diocese,  Goeller,  p.  71. 

4  For  elaborate  comparisons  of  the  value  of  the  different  coins  of  the  four- 
teenth century,  see  Kirsch,  Kollektorien,  LXXVIII.  and  Riickkehr,  p.  zli  sqq. 


90  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

The  offerings  made  by  prelates  at  their  visits  to  the  papal 
see,  called  visitationes,1  were  divided  equally  between  the  papal 
treasury  and  the  cardinals.  From  the  lists  it  appears  that  the 
archbishops  of  York  paid  every  three  years  "  300  marks  ster- 
ling, or  1200  gold  florins."  Every  two  years  the  archbishops 
of  Canterbury  paid  "  800  marks  sterling,  or  1500  gold  florins"; 
the  archbishop  of  Tours  paid  400  pounds  Tournois;  of  Rheims, 
500  pounds  Tournois;  of  Rouen,  1000  pounds  Tournois.2  The 
archbishop  of  Armagh,  at  his  visitation  in  1301,  paid  50  silver 
marks,  or  250  gold  florins.  In  1350  the  camera  claimed  from 
Armagh  back  payments  for  fifty  years.8  Presumably  no 
bishop  of  that  Irish  diocese  had  made  a  visit  in  that  interval. 
Whether  the  claim  was  honored  or  not,  is  not  known. 

The  servitia  communia,  or  payments  made  by  archbishops, 
bishops,  and  abbots  on  their  confirmation  to  office,  were  also 
listed,  according  to  a  fixed  scale.  The  voluntary  idea  had 
completely  disappeared  before  a  fixed  assessment.4  Such  a 
dignitary  was  called  an  electus  until  he  had  paid  off  the 

Gottlob,  pp.  133, 174  sq.,  etc.  Baumgarten,  CCXI  sqq.  The  silver  mark,  the 
gold  florin,  and  the  pound  Tournois  were  among  the  larger  coins  most  current. 
One  mark  was  worth  4  or  6  gold  florins,  or  8  pounds  Tournois.  The  grossus 
Turonensis  was  equal  to  about  25  cents  of  our  value.  See  Tangl,  14.  For  the 
different  estimates  of  marks  in  florins,  see  Baumgarten,  CXXI.  The  gold 
florin  had  the  face  value  of  $2.50  of  our  money,  or  nearly  10  marks  German 
coinage.  See  Kirsch,  Kollektorien,  p.  Ixx ;  R'uckkehr,  p.  xlv ;  Gottlob, 
Servitientaxe,  p.  176  ;  Baumgarten,  p.  ccxiii ;  Tangl,  14,  etc.  Kirsch  gives  the 
purchasing  price  of  money  in  the  fourteenth  century  as  four  times  what  it  now 
is,  Finanzverwaltung,  p.  56.  The  gold  mark  in  1370  was  worth  02  gold  florins, 
the  silver  mark  6  florins,  Kirsch  •  Biickkehr,  p.  xlv.  Kirsch :  Backkehr, 
pp.  1-lxi,  gives  a  very  elaborate  and  valuable  list  of  the  prices  of  commodi- 
ties and  wages  in  1370  from  the  Vatican  ledger  accounts.  Urban  V.  's  agents 
bought  two  horses  for  117  florins  gold  and  two  mules  for  90  florins.  They 
paid  1  gold  florin  for  12  pairs  of  shoes  and  1  pair  of  boots.  A  salma  of  wheat 
—  equal  to  733  loaves  of  bread  — cost  4  florins,  or  $10  in  our  money.  The 
keeper  of  the  papal  stables  received  120  gold  florins  a  year.  The  senator  of 
Rome  received  from  Gregory  XI.  500  gold  florins  a  month.  A  watchman  of 
the  papal  palace,  7  gold  florins  a  month.  Carpenters  received  from  12-18 
shillings  Provis,  or  60-80  cents,  47  of  these  coins  being  equal  to  1  gold  florin. 

1  Visitationes  ad  limina  apostolorum,  that  is,  visits  to  Rome. 

*  See  Baumgarten,  CXXI.;  Kirsch :  Finanzverwaltung,  p.  22  sq. 

8  Baumgarten,  p.  cxxii. 

4  Gottlob,  Scrvitien,  p.  30  sqq.,  75-93  ;  Baumgarten,  p.  xcvii  sqq. 


§  9.      FINANCIAL  POLICY  OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.       91 

tax.1  In  certain  cases  the  tax  was  remitted  on  account  of  the 
poverty  of  the  ecclesiastic,  and  in  the  ledgers  the  entry  was 
made,  "  not  taxed  on  account  of  poverty,"  non  taxata  propter 
paupertatem.  The  amount  of  this  tax  seems  to  have  varied,  and 
was  sometimes  one-third  of  the  income  and  sometimes  a  larger 
portion.2  In  the  fourteenth  century  the  following  sees  paid 
servitia  as  follows:  Mainz,  5,000  gold  florins;  Treves,  7,000; 
Cologne,  10,000;  Narbonne,  10,000.  On  the  basis  of  a  new 
valuation,  Martin  V.  in  1420  raised  the  taxation  of  the  sees 
of  Mainz  and  Treves  to  10,000  florins  each,  or  $25,000  of  our 
money,  so  that  they  corresponded  to  the  assessment  made 
from  of  old  upon  Cologne.8  When  an  incumbent  died  with- 
out having  met  the  full  tax,  his  successor  made  up  the  deficit 
in  addition  to  paying  the  assessment  for  his  own  confirma- 
tion.4 

The  following  cases  will  give  some  idea  of  the  annoyances 
to  which  bishops  and  abbots  were  put  who  travelled  to 
Avignon  to  secure  letters  of  papal  confirmation  to  their  offices. 
In  1334,  the  abbot-elect  of  St.  Augustine,  Canterbury,  had  to 
wait  in  Avignon  from  April  22  to  Aug.  9  to  get  his  confirma- 
tion, and  it  cost  him  148  pounds  sterling.  John  IV.,  abbot- 
elect  of  St.  Albans,  in  1302  went  for  consecration  to  Rome, 
accompanied  by  four  monks.  He  arrived  May  6,  presented 
his  case  to  Boniface  VIII.  in  person  at  Anagni,  May  9,  and  did 
not  get  back  to  London  till  Aug.  1,  being  all  the  while  engaged 
in  the  process  of  getting  his  papers  properly  prepared  and  cer- 

1  Gottlob,  p.  130. 

2  Kirech:  Finanzverwaltung,  and  Baumgarten,  p.  xcvii,  make  it  one -third. 
Gottlob,  p.  120,  says  it  was  sometimes  more. 

8  Baumgarten,  p.  cvi,  Schulte,  p.  97  sq.  Cases  are  also  reported  of  the  re- 
duction of  the  assessment  upon  a  revaluation  of  the  property.  In  1326  the 
assessment  of  the  see  of  Breslau  was  reduced  from  4,000  to  1,785  gold  florins. 
Kirsch  :  Finanzverwaltung,  p.  8. 

4  For  cases,  see  Baumgarten,  p.  cviii.  Attempts  to  get  rid  of  this  assess- 
ment were  unavailing.  The  bishop  of  Bamberg,  in  1336,  left  Avignon  without 
a  bull  of  confirmation  because  he  had  not  made  the  prescribed  payment  The 
reason  is  not  recorded,  but  the  statement  is  spread  on  the  ledger  entry  that 
episcopal  confirmation  should  not  be  granted  to  him  till  the  Apostolic  letters 
pertaining  to  it  were  properly  registered  and  delivered  by  the  Apostolic  camera. 
Goeller,  p.  69. 


92  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

tified  to.1  The  £xpense  of  getting  his  case  through  was  2,585 
marks,  or  10,340  gold  florins,  or  $25,000  of  our  money.  The 
ways  in  which  this  large  sum  was  distributed  are  not  a  matter 
of  conjecture.  The  exact  itemized  statement  is  extant:  2,258 
marks,  or  9,032  florins,  went  to  "  the  Lord  pope  and  the  cardi- 
nals." Of  this  sum  5,000  florins,  or  1,250  marks,  are  entered 
as  a  payment  for  the  visitatio,  and  the  remainder  in  payment 
of  the  servitium  to  the  cardinals.  The  remaining  327  marks, 
or  1,308  florins,  were  consumed  in  registration  and  notarial 
fees  and  gifts  to  cardinals.  To  Cardinal  Francis  of  St.  Maria 
in  Cosmedin,  a  nephew  of  Boniface,  a  gift  was  made  costing 
more  than  10  marks,  or  40  florins. 

Another  abbot-elect  of  St.  Albans,  Richard  II.,  went  to 
Avignon  in  1326  accompanied  by  six  monks,  and  was  well 
satisfied  to  get  away  with  the  payment  of  3,600  gold  florins. 
He  was  surprised  that  the  tax  was  so  reasonable.  Abbot 
William  of  the  diocese  of  Autun,  Oct.  22,  1316,  obligated 
himself  to  pay  John  XXII. ,  as  confirmation  tax,  1,500  gold 
florins,  and  to  John's  officials  170  more.2 

The  fees  paid  to  the  lower  officials,  called  servitia  minuta, 
were  classified  under  five  heads,  four  of  them  going  to  the 
officials,  familiares  of  the  pontiff,  and  one  to  the  officials  of  the 
cardinals.8  The  exact  amounts  received  on  account  of  servitia 
or  confirmation  fees  by  the  pope  and  the  college  of  cardinals, 
probably  will  never  be  known.  From  the  lists  that  have  been 
examined,  the  cardinals  between  1316-1323  received  from  this 
source  234,047  gold  florins,  or  about  39,000  florins  a  year.  As 
the  yield  from  this  tax  was  usually,  though  not  always,  divided 
in  equal  shares  between  the  pope  and  the  cardinals,  the  full 
sum  realized  from  this  source  was  double  this  amount.4 

The  annates,  so  far  as  they  were  the  tax  levied  by  the  pope 
upon  appointments  made  by  himself  to  lower  clerical  offices 


1  Gesta  Abb.  monaster.  S.  Albani,  II.  65  sq.     See  Gottlob,  Servitien,  p.  174 
sqq.  for  the  full  list  of  his  expenses. 

2  The  contract  is  printed  entire  by  Kirsch,  Finanzverwaltung,  pp.  73-77, 
and  Gottlob,  p.  162  sqq. 

8  See  Gottlob,  pp.  102-118 ;  Schulte,  p.  13  sqq. 
*  Baumgarten,  p.  czx. 


§  9.      FINANCIAL  POLICY  OF  THE  AVIGNON  POPES.       93 

and  livings,  went  entirely  into  the  papal  treasury,  and  seem  to 
have  been  uniformly  one-half  of  the  first  year's  income.1  They 
were  designated  as  livings  "  becoming  vacant  in  curia,"  which 
was  another  way  of  saying,  places  which  had  been  reserved 
by  the  pope.  The  popes  from  time  to  time  extended  this  tax 
through  the  use  of  the  right  of  reservation  to  all  livings  be- 
coming vacant  in  a  given  district  during  a  certain  period.  In 
addition  to  the  annate  tax,  the  papal  treasury  also  drew  an 
income  during  the  period  of  their  vacancy  from  the  livings  re- 
served for  papal  appointment  and  during  the  period  when  an 
incumbent  held  the  living  without  canonical  right.  These 
were  called  the  "intermediate  fruits"  —  mediifructus.* 

Special  indulgences  were  an  uncertain  but  no  less  important 
source  of  revenue.  The  prices  were  graded  according  to  the 
ability  of  the  parties  to  pay  and  the  supposed  inherent  value 
of  the  papal  concession.  Queen  Johanna  of  Sicily  paid  500 
grossi  Tournois,  or  about  $150,  for  the  privilege  of  taking  the 
oath  to  the  archbishop  of  Naples,  who  acted  as  the  pope's  rep- 
resentative. The  bull  readmitting  to  the  sacraments  of  the 
Church  Margaret  of  Maul  tasch  and  her  husband,  Lewisof  Bran- 
denburg, the  son  of  Lewis  the  Bavarian,  cost  the  princess  2000 
grossi  Tournois.  The  king  of  Cyprus  was  poor,  and  secured 
for  his  subjects  indulgence  to  trade  with  the  Egyptians  for 
the  modest  sum  of  100  pounds  Tournois,  but  had  to  pay  50 
pounds  additional  for  a  ship  sent  with  cargo  to  Egypt.8 
There  was  a  graduated  sgale  for  papal  letters  giving  persons 
liberty  to  choose  their  confessor  without  regard  to  the  parish 
priests. 

1  John  XXII.,  1316,  Benedict  XII.,  1336,  Clement  VI.,  1342,  and  Boniface 
IX.,  1392,  ismied  bulls  requiring  such  appointees  to  pay  one-half  the  first  year's 
income  into  the  papal  treasury.  See,  on  this  subject,  Kirsch,  Kollektorien,  p. 
xxv  sqq.  He  mentions  the  papal  collector,  Gerardus,  who  gives  a  continuous 
list  for  the  years  1343-1360,  of  such  payments  of  annates,  fructus  beneftcio- 
rum  vacantium  ad  Cameram  Apostolicam  pertinentes.  The  annates,  or 
annalia,  were  originally  given  to  the  bishops  when  livings  became  vacant,  but 
were  gradually  reserved  for  the  papal  treasury.  See  Friedberg,  Kirchliche 
Abgaben,  in  Herzog,  1. 05. 

fl  Kirsch :  Kollektorien,  p.  xxvi.  Benedict,  1336,  appropriated  these  pay- 
ments to  the  papal  treasury. 

8  Tangl,  pp.  31,  32,  37. 


94  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

To  these  sources  of  income  were  added  the  taxes  for  the  re- 
lief of  the  Holy  Land  — pro  subsidio  terra  sanctce.  The  Coun- 
cil of  Vienne  ordered  a  tenth  for  six  years  for  this  purpose. 
John  XXII.,  1333,  repeated  the  substance  of  Clement's  bull. 
The  expense  of  clearing  Italy  of  hostile  elements  and  reclaim- 
ing papal  territory  as  a  preliminary  to  the  pope's  return  to 
Rome  was  also  made  the  pretext  for  levying  special  taxes. 
For  this  object  Innocent  VI.  levied  a  three-years'  tax  of  a 
tenth  upon  the  Church  in  Germany,  and  in  1366  Urban  V. 
levied  another  tenth  upon  all  the  churches  of  Christendom.1 

It  would  be  a  mistake  to  suppose  that  the  Church  always 
responded  to  these  appeals,  or  that  the  collectors  had  easy 
work  in  making  collections.  The  complaints,  which  we  found 
so  numerous  in  England  in  the  thirteenth  century,  we  meet 
with  everywhere  during  the  fourteenth  century.  The  re- 
sistance was  determined,  and  the  taxes  were  often  left  unpaid 
for  years  or  not  paid  at  all. 

The  revenues  derived  from  feudal  states  and  princes,  called 
census,  were  divided  equally  between  the  cardinals  and  the 
pope's  private  treasury.  Gregory  X.,  in  1272,  was  the  first 
to  make  such  a  division  of  the  tribute  from  Sicily,  which 
amounted  to  8000  ounces  of  gold,  or  about  $90,000. 2  In  the 
pontificate  of  John  XXII.  there  is  frequent  mention  of  the 
amounts  contributed  by  Sicily  and  their  equal  partition.  The 
sums  varied  from  year  to  year,  and  in  1304  it  was  3000 
ounces  of  gold.  The  tribute  of  Sardinia  and  Corsica  was 
fixed  in  1297  at  the  annual  sum  of  2000  marks,  and  was 
divided  between  the  two  treasuries.8  The  papal  state  and 
Ferrara  yielded  uncertain  sums,  and  the  tribute  of  1000  marks, 
pledged  by  John  of  England,  was  paid  irregularly,  and  finally 
abrogated  altogether.  Peter's  pence,  which  belongs  in  this 
category,  was  an  irregular  source  of  papal  income.4 

1  Kirsch  :  Kollektorien,  pp.  zx,  zzi. 

2  Kirsch :  Finanzverwaltung,  p.  3 ;  Biickkehr,  p.  zv.    The  payment  to 
Urban  V.  in  1367  and  its  division  into  equal  shares  is  a  matter  of  record.     In 
a  ledger  account  begun  in  1317,  and  now  in  the  Vatican,  an  ounce  of  gold  wag 
estimated  at  6  florins,  a  pound  of  gold  at  96  florins.    See  Kirsch,  Finanzver- 
waltung, p.  71 ;  Baumgarten,  p.  ccxi. 

8  Baumgarten,  p.  czlii  sq.  *  Baumgarten,  CXXVI.  sqq. 


§  9.      FINANCIAL  POLICY   OF   THE   AVIGNON  POPES.       95 

The  yearly  income  of  the  papal  treasury  under  Clement  V. 
and  John  XXII.  has  been  estimated  at  from  200,000  to  250,000 
gold  florins.1  In  1353  it  is  known  to  have  been  at  least 
260,000  florins,  or  more  than  $600,000  of  our  money. 

These  sources  of  income  were  not  always  sufficient  for  the 
expenses  of  the  papal  household,  and  in  cases  had  to  be  antici- 
pated by  loans.  The  popes  borrowed  from  cardinals,  from 
princes,  and  from  bankers.  Urban  V.  got  a  loan  from  his 
cardinals  of  30,000  gold  florins.  Gregory  XI.  got  loans  of 
30,000  florins  from  the  king  of  Navarre,  and  60,000  from  the 
duke  of  Anjou.  The  duke  seems  to  have  been  a  ready 
lender,  and  on  another  occasion  loaned  Gregory  40,000  florins.2 
It  was  a  common  thing  for  bishops  and  abbots  to  make  loans 
to  enable  them  to  pay  the  expense  of  their  confirmation. 
The  abbot  of  St.  Albans,  in  1290,  was  assessed  1300  pounds 
for  his  servittum^  and  borrowed  500  of  it.8  The  habit  grew 
until  the  time  of  the  Reformation,  when  the  sums  borrowed,  as 
in  the  case  of  Albrecht,  archbishop  of  Mainz,  were  enormous. 

The  transactions  of  the  Avignon  chancellory  called  forth 
loud  complaints,  even  from  contemporary  apologists  for  the 
papacy.  Alvarus  Pelagius,  in  his  Lament  over  the  Church, 
wrote  :  "  No  poor  man  can  approach  the  pope.  He  will  call 
and  no  one  will  answer,  because  he  has  no  money  in  his  purse 
to  pay.  Scarcely  is  a  single  petition  heeded  by  the  pope 
until  it  has  passed  through  the  hands  of  middlemen,  a 
corrupt  set,  bought  with  bribes,  and  the  officials  conspire  to- 
gether to  extort  more  than  the  rule  calls  for."  In  another 
place  he  said  that  whenever  he  entered  into  the  papal  chambers 
he  always  found  the  tables  full  of  gold,  and  clerics  counting 

1  Ehrle :  Process  uber  d.  Nachlass  Klcmens  V. ,  in  Archiv,  etc.,  V.  147.  The 
revenue  of  Philip  the  Fair  amounted  in  1301  to  207,900  pounds.  See  Gottlob, 
Servitien,  133.  Gottlob,  p.  134,  says  the  cardinals  received  as  much  more  as 
their  share. 

*  Haller,  p.  138. 

8  Walter  de  Gray,  bishop  of  Worcester,  is  said  to  have  borrowed  10,000 
pounds  at  his  elevation,  1215.  Roger  de  Wendover,  as  quoted  by  Gottlob, 
p.  186.  The  passage  runs  obligates  in  curia  Romana  de  decem  millibus  libris, 
etc.  Gottlob  understands  this  to  refer  to  Roman  bankers,  not  to  the  Roman 
curia. 


96  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

and  weighing  florins.1  Of  the  Spanish  bishops  he  said  that 
there  was  scarcely  one  in  a  hundred  who  did  not  receive 
money  for  ordinations  and  the  gift  of  benefices.  Matters 
grew  no  better,  but  rather  worse  as  the  fourteenth  century 
advanced.  Dietrich  of  Nieheim,  speaking  of  Boniface  IX., 
said  that  "  the  pope  was  an  insatiable  gulf,  and  that  as  for 
avarice  there  was  no  one  to  compare  with  him."3  To  effect 
a  cure  of  the  disease,  which  was  a  scandal  to  Christendom, 
the  popes  would  have  been  obliged  to  cut  off  the  great  army 
of  officials  who  surrounded  them.  But  this  vast  organized 
body  was  stronger  than  the  Roman  pontiff.  The  funda- 
mental theory  of  the  rights  of  the  papal  office  was  at  fault. 
The  councils  made  attempts  to  introduce  reforms,  but  in  vain. 
Help  came  at  last  and  from  an  unexpected  quarter,  when 
Luther  and  the  other  leaders  openly  revolted  against  the 
mediaeval  theory  of  the  papacy  and  of  the  Church. 

§  10.     The  Later  Avignon  Popes. 

The  bustling  and  scholastic  John  XXII.  was  followed  by 
the  scholarly  and  upright  Benedict  XII.,  1334-1342.  Born 
in  the  diocese  of  Toulouse,  Benedict  studied  in  Paris,  and 
arose  to  the  dignity  of  bishop  and  cardinal  before  his  eleva- 
tion to  the  papal  throne.  If  Villani  is  to  be  trusted,  his 
election  was  an  accident.  One  cardinal  after  another  who 
voted  for  him  did  so,  not  dreaming  he  would  be  elected.  The 
choice  proved  to  be  an  excellent  one.  The  new  pontiff  at 
once  showed  interest  in  reform.  The  prelates  who  had  no 
distinct  duties  at  Avignon  he  sent  home,  and  to  his  credit  it 
was  recorded  that,  when  urged  to  enrich  his  relatives,  he  re- 
plied that  the  vicar  of  Christ,  like  Melchizedek,  must  be  with- 
out father  or  mother  or  genealogy.  To  him  belongs  the  honor 
of  having  begun  the  erection  of  the  permanent  papal  palace 
at  Avignon,  a  massive  and  grim  structure,  having  the  features 

1  De  planclu  eccl.  II.  7,  quum  scepe  intraverim  in  cameram  camerarii 
domnlpapce,  semper  ibi  vidi  nummvlarios  et  mensas  plena*  auro,  et  clericos 
computantes  et  trutinantes  Jlorenos.  See  Dollinger-Friedrich,  pp.  86,  420. 

9  Insatiabilis  vorago  et  in  avaricia  null  us  ei  similis.  De  tchismate.  Brier's 
ed.,  p.  119.  The  sacra  auri  fames  prevailed  at  Avignon. 


§  10.      THE  LATER  AVIGNON  POPES.  97 

of  a  fortress  rather  than  a  residence.  Its  walls  and  towers 
were  built  of  colossal  thickness  and  strength  to  resist  attack. 
Its  now  desolated  spaces  are  a  speechless  witness  to  perhaps 
the  most  singular  of  the  episodes  of  papal  history.  The 
cardinals  followed  Benedict's  example  and  built  palaces  in 
Avignon  and  its  vicinity. 

Clement  VI.,  1342-1852,  whohadbeen  archbishop  of  Rouen, 
squandered  the  fortune  amassed  by  John  XXII.  and  prudently 
administered  by  Benedict.  He  forgot  his  Benedictine  train- 
ing and  vows  and  was  a  fast  liver,  carrying  into  the  papal 
office  the  tastes  of  the  French  nobility  from  which  he  sprang. 
Horses,  a  sumptuous  table,  and  the  company  of  women  made 
the  papal  palace  as  gay  as  a  royal  court.1  Nor  were  his  rela- 
tives allowed  to  go  uncared  for.  Of  the  twenty-five  cardinals' 
hats  which  he  distributed,  twelve  went  to  them,  one  a  brother 
and  one  a  nephew.  Clement  enjoyed  a  reputation  for  elo- 
quence and,  like  John  XXII.,  preached  after  he  became  pope. 
Early  in  his  pontificate  the  Romans  sent  a  delegation,  which 
included  Petrarch,  begging  him  to  return  to  Rome.  But 
Clement,  a  Frenchman  to  the  core,  preferred  the  atmosphere 
of  France.  Though  he  did  not  go  to  Rome,  he  was  gracious 
enough  to  comply  with  the  delegation's  request  and  appoint 
a  Jubilee  for  the  deserted  and  impoverished  city. 

During  Clement's  rule,  Rome  lived  out  one  of  the  pictur- 
esque episodes  of  its  mediaeval  history,  the  meteoric  career  of 
the  tribune  Cola  (Nicolas)  di  Rienzo.  Of  plebeian  birth,  this 
visionary  man  was  stirred  with  the  ideals  of  Roman  inde- 
pendence and  glory  by  reading  the  ancient  classics.  His 
oratory  flattered  and  moved  the  people,  whose  cause  he 
espoused  against  the  aristocratic  families  of  the  city.  Sent 
to  Avignon  at  the  head  of  a  commission,  1343,  to  confer  the 
highest  municipal  authority  upon  the  pope,  he  won  Clement's 
attention  by  his  frank  manner  and  eloquent  speech.  Return- 

1  Pastor,  I.  70,  says,  "  Luxury  and  fast  living  prevailed  to  the  most 
flagrant  degree  under  Clement's  rule."  For  detailed  description  of  Avignon 
and'  the  papal  palace,  see  A.  Penjon,  Avignon,  la  ville  et  le  palats  des 
papes,  pp.  134,  Avignon,  1878  ;  F.  Digonnet:  Le palais  des papes  en  Avignon, 
Avignon,  1907. 


98  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

ing  to  Rome,  he  fascinated  the  people  with  visions  of  freedom 
and  dominion.  They  invested  him  on  the  Capitol  with  the 
signiory  of  the  city,  1347.  Cola  assumed  the  democratic  title 
of  tribune.  Writing  from  Avignon,  Petrarch  greeted  him 
as  the  man  whom  he  had  been  looking  for,  and  dedicated  to 
him  one  of  his  finest  odes.  The  tribune  sought  to  extend 
his  influence  by  enkindling  the  flame  of  patriotism  throughout 
all  Italy  and  to  induce  its  cities  to  throw  off  the  yoke  of  their 
tyrants.  Success  and  glory  turned  his  head.  Intoxicated  with 
applause,  he  had  the  audacity  to  cite  Lewis  the  Bavarian  and 
Charles  IV.  before  his  tribunal,  and  headed  his  communica- 
tions with  the  magnificent  superscription,  "  In  the  first  year 
of  the  Republic's  freedom."  His  success  lasted  but  seven 
months.  The  people  had  grown  weary  of  their  idol.  He 
was  laid  by  Clement  under  the  ban  and  fled,  to  appear  again 
for  a  brief  season  under  Innocent  V. 

Avignon  was  made  papal  property  by  Clement,  who  paid 
Joanna  of  Naples  80,000  florins  for  it.  The  low,  price  may  have 
been  in  consideration  of  the  pope's  services  in  pronouncing  the 
princess  guiltless  of  the  murder  of  her  cousin  and  first  hus- 
band, Andreas,  a  royal  Hungarian  prince,  and  sanctioning  her 
second  marriage  with  another  cousin,  the  prince  of  Tarentum. 

This  pontiff  witnessed  the  conclusion  of  the  disturbed  ca- 
reer of  Lewis  the  Bavarian,  in  1347.  The  emperor  had  sunk 
to  the  depths  of  self-abasement  when  he  swore  to  the  28  arti- 
cles Clement  laid  before  him,  Sept.  18,  1343,  and  wrote  to 
the  pope  that,  as  a  babe  longs  for  its  mother's  breast,  so  his 
soul  cried  out  for  the  grace  of  the  pope  and  the  Church. 
But,  if  possible,  Clement  intensified  the  curses  placed  upon 
him  by  his  two  predecessors.  The  bull,  which  he  announced 
with  his  own  lips,  April  13,  1346,  teems  with  rabid  execra- 
tions. It  called  upon  God  to  strike  Lewis  with  insanity, 
blindness,  and  madness.  It  invoked  the  thunderbolts  of 
heaven  and  the  flaming  wrath  of  God  and  the  Apostles  Peter 
and  Paul  both  in  this  world  and  the  next.  It  called  all  the 
elements  to  rise  in  hostility  against  him  ;  upon  the  universe 
to  fight  against  him,  and  the  earth  to  open  and  swallow  him 
up  alive.  It  blasphemously  damned  his  house  to  desolation 


§  10.      THE  LATER  AVIGNON  POPES.  99 

and  his  children  to  exclusion  from  their  abode.  It  invoked 
upon  him  the  curse  of  beholding  with  his  own  eyes  the 
destruction  of  his  children  by  their  enemies.1 

During  Clement's  pontificate,  1348-1349,  the  Black  Death 
swept  over  Europe  from  Hungary  to  Scotland  and  from  Spain 
to  Sweden,  one  of  the  most  awful  and  mysterious  scourges 
that  has  ever  visited  mankind.  It  was  reported  by  all  the 
chroniclers  of  the  time,  and  described  by  Boccaccio  in  the  in- 
troduction to  his  novels.  According  to  Villani,  the  disease 
appeared  as  carbuncles  under  the  armpits  or  in  the  groin, 
sometimes  as  big  as  an  egg,  and  was  accompanied  with  de- 
vouring fever  and  vomiting  of  blood.  It  also  involved  a  gan- 
grenous inflammation  of  the  lungs  and  throat  and  a  fetid  odor 
of  the  breath.  In  describing  the  virulence  of  the  infection, 
a  contemporary  said  that  one  sick  person  was  sufficient  to  in- 
fect the  whole  world.2  The  patients  lingered  at  most  a  day 
or  two.  Boccaccio  witnessed  the  progress  of  the  plague  as  it 
spread  its  ravages  in  Florence.8  Such  measures  of  sanitation 
as  were  then  known  were  resorted  to,  such  as  keeping  the 
streets  of  the  city  clean  and  posting  up  elaborate  rules  of 
health.  Public  religious  services  and  processions  were  ap- 
pointed to  stay  death's  progress.  Boccaccio  tells  how  he  saw 
the  hogs  dying  from  the  deadly  contagion  which  they  caught 
in  rooting  amongst  cast-off  clothing.  In  England  all  sorts 
of  cattle  were  affected,  and  Knighton  speaks  of  5000  sheep 
dying  in  a  single  district.4  The  mortality  was  appalling. 
The  figures,  though  they  differ  in  different  accounts,  show  a 
vast  loss  of  life. 


1  This  awful  denunciation  runs  :  Veniat  ei  laqueus  quern  ignorat,  et  cadat  in 
ipsuin.  Sit  maledictus  ingrediens,  sit  maledictus  egrediens.  Percutiat  eum 
dominus  amentia  et  ccecitate  ac  mentis  furore.  C&lum  super  eum  fulgura 
mittat.  Omnipotent  dei  ira  et  beatorum  Petri  etPauli  ...  in  hocetfuturo 
seculo  exardescat  in  ipsum.  Or  bis  terrarum  pugnet  contra  eum,  aperiatur  terra 
et  ipsum  absorbeat  vivum.  Mirbt :  Quellen,  p.  153.  See  Miiller :  Kampf  Lud- 
voigs,  etc.,  II.  214. 

a" Quoted  by  Gasquet,  Slack  Death,  p.  46. 

8  Whitcomb,  Source  Book  of  the  Renaissance,  pp.  16-18,  gives  a  transla- 
tion. 

*  Knighton's  account,  Chronicon,  Rolls  Series  II.  58-66. 


100  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

A  large  per  cent  of  the  population  of  Western  Europe  fell 
before  the  pestilence.  In  Siena,  80,000  were  carried  off ;  in 
Venice,  100,000  ;  in  Bologna,  two-thirds  of  the  population ; 
and  in  Florence,  three-fifths.  In  Marseilles  the  number  who 
died  in  a  single  month  is  reported  as  57,000.  Nor  was  the 
papal  city  on  the  Rhone  exempt.  Nine  cardinals,  70  prelates, 
and  17,000  males  succumbed.  Another  writer,  a  canon  writ- 
ing from  the  city  to  a  friend  in  Flanders,  reports  that  up  to  the 
date  of  his  writing  one-half  of  the  population  had  died.  The 
very  cats,  dogs,  and  chickens  took  the  disease.1  At  the  pre- 
scription of  his  physician,  Guy  of  Chauliac,  Clement  VI. 
stayed  within  doors  and  kept  large  fires  lighted,  as  Nicolas 
IV.  before  him  had  done  in  time  of  plague. 

No  class  was  immune  except  in  England,  where  the  higher 
classes  seem  to  have  been  exempt.  The  clergy  yielded  in  great 
numbers,  bishops,  priests,  and  monks.  At  least  one  arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  Bradwardine,  was  carried  away  by  it. 
The  brothers  of  the  king  of  Sweden,  Hacon  and  Knut,  were 
among  the  victims.  The  unburied  dead  strewed  the  streets 
of  Stockholm.  Vessels  freighted  with  cargoes  were  reported 
floating  on  the  high  seas  with  the  last  sailor  dead.2  Convents 
were  swept  clear  of  all  their  inmates.  The  cemeteries  were 
not  large  enough  to  hold  the  bodies,  which  were  thrown  into 
hastily  dug  pits.3  The  danger  of  infection  and  the  odors 
emitted  by  the  corpses  were  so  great  that  often  there  was  no 
one  to  give  sepulture  to  the  dead.  Bishops  found  cause  in  this 
neglect  to  enjoin  their  priests  to  preach  on  the  resurrection 
of  the  body  as  one  of  the  tenets  of  the  Catholic  Church,  as 
did  the  bishop  of  Winchester.4  In  spite  of  the  vast  mor- 
tality, many  of  the  people  gave  themselves  up  without  re- 
straint to  revelling  and  drinking  from  tavern  to  tavern  and 
to  other  excesses,  as  Boccaccio  reports  of  Florence. 

In  England,  it  is  estimated  that  one-half  of  the  population, 

1  Quoted  by  Gasquet,  p.  46  gqq.  2  Gasquet,  p.  40. 

8  Thorold  Rogers  saw  the  remains  of  a  number  of  skeletons  at  the  digging 
for  the  new  divinity  school  at  Cambridge,  and  pronounced  the  spot  the  plague- 
pit  of  this  awful  time.  Six  Centuries  of  Work  and  Wages,  I.  157. 

4  Gasquet,  p.  128. 


§  10.       THE  LATEB   AVIGNON  POPES.  101 

or  2,500,000  people,  fell  victims  to  the  dread  disease.1  Ac- 
cording to  Knighton,  it  was  introduced  into  the  land  through 
Southampton.  As  for  Scotland,  this  chronicler  tells  the 
grewsome  story  that  some  of  the  Scotch,  on  hearing  of  the 
weakness  of  the  English  in  consequence  of  the  malady,  met  in 
the  forest  of  Selfchyrche  —  Selkirk  —  and  decided  to  fall  upon 
their  unfortunate  neighbors,  but  were  suddenly  themselves 
attacked  by  the  disease,  nearly  5000  dying.  The  English 
king  prorogued  parliament.  The  disaster  that  came  to  the 
industries  of  the  country  is  dwelt  upon  at  length  by  the  Eng- 
lish chroniclers.  The  soil  became  "  dead,"  for  there  were  no 
laborers  left  to  till  it.  The  price  per  acre  was  reduced  one- 
half,  or  even  much  more.  The  cattle  wandered  through  the 
meadows  and  fields  of  grain,  with  no  one  to  drive  them  in. 
"  The  dread  fear  of  death  made  the  prices  of  live  stock  cheap." 
Horses  were  sold  for  one-half  their  usual  price,  40  solidi,  and 
a  fat  steer  for  4  solidi.  The  price  of  labor  went  up,  and  the 
cost  of  the  necessaries  of  life  became  "very  high."2  The 
effect  upon  the  Church  was  such  as  to  interrupt  its  ministries 
and  perhaps  check  its  growth.  The  English  bishops  provided 
for  the  exigencies  of  the  moment  by  issuing  letters  giving  to 
all  clerics  the  right  of  absolution.  The  priest  could  now 
make  his  price,  and  instead  of  4  or  5  marks,  as  Knighton 
reports,  he  could  get  10  or  20  after  the  pestilence  had  spent 
its  course.  To  make  up  for  the  scarcity  of  ministers,  ordina- 
tion was  granted  before  the  canonical  age,  as  when  Bateman, 
bishop  of  Norwich,  set  apart  by  the  sacred  rite  60  clerks, 
u  though  only  shavelings  "  under  21.  In  another  direction 
the  evil  effects  of  the  plague  were  seen.  Work  was  stopped 

1  These  are  the  figures  of  Jessopp,  Coming  of  the  Friars,  Gasquet,  p.  226, 
and  Cunningham,  Growth  of  English  Industries  and  Commerce,  p.  276. 
Thorold  Rogers,  however,  in  Six  Centuries  of  Work,  etc.,  and  England  before 
and  after  the  Black  Death,  Fortnightly  Review,  VIII.  190  sqq.  reduces  the  num- 
ber. Jessopp  bases  his  calculations  upon  local  documents  and  death  lists  of 
the  diocese  of  Norwich  and  finds  that  in  some  cases  nine-tenths  of  the  popula- 
tion died.  The  Augustinians  at  Heveringland,  prior  and  canons,  died  to  a 
man.  At  Hickling  only  one  survived.  Whether  this  fell  mortality  among  the 
clergy,  especially  the  orders,  points  to  luxuriant  living  and  carelessness  in 
habits  of  cleanliness,  we  will  not  attempt  to  say. 

a  Knighton,  II.  02,  05. 


102  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

on  the  Cathedral  of  Siena,  which  was  laid  out  on  a  scale  of 
almost  unsurpassed  size,  and  has  not  been  resumed  to  this 
day.1 

The  Black  Death  was  said  to  have  invaded  Europe  from 
the  East,  and  to  have  been  carried  first  by  Genoese  vessels.2 
Its  victims  were  far  in  excess  of  the  loss  of  life  by  any  battles 
or  earthquakes  known  to  European  history,  not  excepting  the 
Sicilian  earthquake  of  1908. 

In  spite  of  the  plague,  and  perhaps  in  gratitude  for  its  ces- 
sation, the  Jubilee  Year  of  1350,  like  the  Jubilee  under  Boni- 
face at  the  opening  of  the  century,  brought  thousands  of  pil- 
grims to  Rome.  If  they  left  scenes  of  desolation  in  the  cities 
and  villages  from  which  they  came,  they  found  a  spectacle  of 
desolation  and  ruin  in  the  Eternal  City  which  Petrarch,  visit- 
ing the  same  year,  said  was  enough  to  move  a  heart  of  stone. 
Matthew  Villani 3  cannot  say  too  much  in  praise  of  the  de- 
votion of  the  visiting  throngs.  Clement's  bull  extended  the 
benefits  of  his  promised  indulgence  to  those  who  started  on  a 
pilgrimage  without  the  permission  of  their  superiors,  the  cleric 
without  the  permission  of  his  bishop,  the  monk  without  the 
permission  of  his  abbot,  and  the  wife  without  the  permission 
of  her  husband. 

Of  the  three  popes  who  followed  Clement,  only  good  can  be 
said.  Innocent  VI. ,  1352—1 362,  a  native  of  the  see  of  Limoges, 
had  been  appointed  cardinal  by  Clement  VI.  Following  in  the 

1  Gaaquet,  p.  263.    This  author,  pp.  viii,  8,  compares  the  ravages  of  the 
bubonic  plague  in  India,  1897-1905,  to  the  desolations  of  the  Black  Death. 
He  gives  the  mortality  in  India  in  this  period  as  3,250,000  persons.     lie 
emphasizes  the  bad  effects  of  the  plague  in  undoing  the  previous  work  of  the 
Church  and  checking  its  progress. 

2  Ralph,  bishop  of  Bath  and  Wells,  in  a  pastoral  letter  warned  against  the 
41  pestilence  which  had  come  into  a  neighboring  kingdom  from  the  East." 
Knighton  refers  its  origin  to  India,  Thomas  Walsingham,  Hiat.  Angl.,  Rolls 
Series  I.  273,  thus  speaks  of  it:     "Beginning  in  the  regions  of  the  North  and 
East  it  advanced  over  the  world  and  ended  with  so  great  a  destruction  that 
scarcely  half  of  the  people  remained.    Towns  once  full  of  men  became  desti- 
tute of  inhabitants,  and  so  violently  did  the  pestilence  increase  that  the  living 
were  scarcely  able  to  bury  the  dead.    In  certain  houses  of  men  of  religion, 
scarcely  two  out  of  twenty  men  survived.    It  was  estimated  by  many  that 
scarcely  one-tenth  of  mankind  had  been  left  alive." 

•  Muratori,  XV.  56. 


§  10.      THE  LATER   AVIGNON  POPES.  103 

footsteps  of  Benedict  XII.,  he  reduced  the  ostentation  of  the 
Avignon  court,  dismissed  idle  bishops  to  their  sees,  and  insti- 
tuted the  tribunal  of  the  rota^  with  21  salaried  auditors  for  the 
orderly  adjudication  of  disputed  cases  coming  before  the  papal 
tribunal.  Before  Innocent's  election,  the  cardinals  adopted  a 
set  of  rules  limiting  the  college  to  20  members,  and  stipulating 
that  no  new  members  should  be  appointed,  suspended,  deposed, 
or  excommunicated  without  the  consent  of  two-thirds  of  their 
number,  and  that  no  papal  relative  should  be  assigned  to  a  high 
place.  Innocent  no  sooner  became  pontiff  than  he  set  it  aside 
as  not  binding. 

Soon  after  the  beginning  of  his  reign,  Innocent  released  Cola 
di  Rienzo  from  confinement 1  and  sent  him  and  Cardinal  JSgidius 
Alvarez  of  Albernoz  to  Rome  in  the  hope  of  establishing  order. 
Cola  was  appointed  senator,  but  only  a  few  months  afterwards 
was  put  to  death  in  a  popular  uprising,  Oct.  8,  1354.  He 
dreamed  of  a  united  Italy,  500  years  before  the  union  of  its 
divided  states  was  consummated,  but  his  name  remains  a 
powerful  impulse  to  popular  freedom  and  national  unity  in 
the  peninsula. 

Tyrants  and  demagogues  infested  Italian  municipalities  and 
were  sucking  their  life-blood.  The  State  of  the  Church  had 
been  parcelled  up  into  petty  principalities  ruled  by  rude  nobles, 
such  as  the  Polentas  in  Ravenna,  the  Malatestas  in  Rimini, 
the  Montefeltros  in  Urbino.  The  pope  was  in  danger  of  los- 
ing his  territory  in  the  peninsula  altogether.  Soldiers  of  for- 
tune from  different  nations  had  settled  upon  it  and  spread 
terror  as  leaders  of  predatory  bands.  In  no  part  was  anarchy 
more  wild  than  in  Rome  itself,  and  in  the  Campagna. 
Albernoz  had  fought  in  the  wars  against  the  Moors,  and  had 
administered  the  see  of  Toledo.  He  was  a  statesman  as  well 
as  a  soldier.  He  was  fully  equal  to  his  difficult  task  and 
restored  the  papal  government.2 

1  Cola  had  roamed  about  till  he  went  to  Prag,  where  Charles  IV.  seized  him 
and  sent  him  to  Avignon  in  1352.    Petrarch,  who  corresponded  with  him, 
speaks  of  seeing  him  in  Avignon,  attended  by  two  guards.     See  Robinson, 
Petrarch,  pp.  841-343  sqq. 

2  The  full  term  of  Albernoz'  service  in  Italy  extended  from  1363-1368.    By 
his  code,  called  the  JEgidian  Constitutions,  he  became  the  legislator  of  the 


104  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

In  1355,  Albernoz,  as  administrator  of  Rome,  placed  the 
crown  of  the  empire  on  the  head  of  Charles  IV.  To  such  a 
degree  had  the  imperial  dignity  been  brought  that  Charles  was 
denied  permission  by  the  pope  to  enter  the  city  till  the  day 
appointed  for  his  coronation.  His  arrival  in  Italy  was  wel- 
comed by  Petrarch  as  Henry  VII. 's  arrival  had  been  welcomed 
by  Dante.  But  the  emperor  disappointed  every  expectation, 
and  his  return  from  Italy  was  an  inglorious  retreat.  He  placed 
his  own  dominion  of  Bohemia  in  his  debt  by  becoming  the 
founder  of  the  University  of  Prag.1  It  was  he  also  who,  in 
1356,  issued  the  celebrated  Golden  Bull,  which  laid  down  the 
rules  for  the  election  of  the  emperor.  They  placed  this  trans- 
action wholly  in  the  hands  of  the  electors,  a  majority  of  whom 
was  sufficient  for  a  choice.  The  pope  is  not  mentioned  in  the 
document.  Frankfurt  was  made  the  place  of  meeting.  The 
electors  designated  were  the  archbishops  of  Mainz,  Treves,  and 
Cologne,  the  Count  Palatine,  the  king  of  Bohemia,  the  mar- 
grave of  Brandenburg,  and  the  duke  of  Saxony.2 

Urban  V.,  1362-1370,  at  the  time  of  his  election  abbot  of 
the  Benedictine  convent  of  St.  Victor  in  Marseilles,  developed 
merits  which  secured  for  him  canonization  by  Pius  IX.,  1870. 
He  was  the  first  of  the  Avignon  popes  to  visit  Rome.  Pe- 
trarch, as  he  had  written  before  to  Benedict  XII.  and  Clement 
VI.,  now,  in  his  old  age,  wrote  to  the  new  pontiff  rebuking 
the  curia  for  its  vices  and  calling  upon  him  to  be  faithful  to 
his  part  as  Roman  bishop.  Why  should  Urban  hide  himself 
away  in  a  corner  of  the  earth  ?  Italy  was  fair,  and  Rome, 
hallowed  by  history  and  legend  of  empire  and  Church,  was 
the  theocratic  capital  of  the  world.  Charles  IV.  visited 
Avignon  and  offered  to  escort  the  pontiff.  But  the  French 

State  of  the  Church  for  centuries.  For  text,  see  Mansi,  XXVI.  299-807. 
Gregorovius,  VI.  430,  calls  him  "  the  most  gifted  statesman  who  ever  sat  in  the 
college  of  cardinals,11  and  Wurm,his  biographer,  "  the  second  founder  of  the 
State  of  the  Church.11 

1  In  1834  Clement  had  set  off  the  diocese  of  Prag  from  the  diocese  of  Mainz 
and  made  it  an  archbishopric. 

2  Bryce,  ch.  XIV.,  says  well  that  the  Golden  Bull  completed  the  German- 
ization  of  the  Holy  Roman  Empire  by  separating  the  imperial  power  from  the 
papacy.    See  Mirot,  La  politique  pontificate,  p.  2. 


§  10.      THE  LATER   AVIGNON  POPES.  105 

king  opposed  the  plan  and  was  supported  by  the  cardinals  in 
a  body.  Only  three  Italians  were  left  in  it.  Urban  started 
for  the  home  of  his  spiritual  ancestors  in  April,  1367.  A  fleet 
of  sixty  vessels  furnished  by  Naples,  Genoa,  Venice,  and  Pisa 
conducted  the  distinguished  traveller  from  Marseilles  to 
Genoa  and  Corneto,  where  he  was  met  by  envoys  from  Rome, 
who  put  into  his  hands  the  keys  of  the  castle  of  St.  An- 
gelo,  the  symbol  of  full  municipal  power.  All  along  the  way 
transports  of  wine,  fish,  cheese,  and  other  provisions,  sent  on 
from  Avignon,  met  the  papal  party,  and  horses  from  the 
papal  stables  on  the  Rhone  were  in  waiting  for  the  pope  at 
every  stage  of  the  journey.1 

At  Viterbo,  a  riot  was  called  forth  by  the  insolent  manners 
of  the  French,  and  the  pope  launched  the  interdict  against 
the  city.  The  papal  ledgers  contain  the  outlay  by  the  apoth- 
ecary for  medicines  for  the  papal  servants  who  were  wounded 
in  the  me!6e.  Here  Albernoz  died,  to  whom  the  papacy 
owed  a  large  debt  for  his  services  in  restoring  order  to  Rome. 
The  legend  runs  that,  when  he  was  asked  by  the  pope  for  an 
account  of  his  administration,  he  loaded  a  car  with  the  keys 
of  the  cities  he  had  recovered  to  the  papal  authority,  and  sent 
them  to  him. 

Urban  chose  as  his  residence  the  Vatican  in  preference  to 
the  Lateran.  The  preparations  for  his  advent  included  the 
restoration  of  the  palace  and  its  gardens.  A  part  of  the 
garden  was  used  as  a  field,  and  the  rest  was  overgrown  with 
thorns.  Urban  ordered  it  replanted  with  grape-vines  and 
fruit  trees.  The  papal  ledger  gives  the  cost  of  these  im- 
provements as  6,621  gold  florins,  or  about  $15,000.  Roofs, 
floors,  doors,  walls,  and  other  parts  of  the  palace  had  to  be 
renewed.  The  expenses  from  April  27,  1367,  to  November, 

i  Kirsch  :  Riickkehr,  etc.,  pp.  xii,  74-90.  During  the  stop  of  five  days  at 
Genoa,  Urban  received  timely  help  in  the  payment  of  the  feoffal  tax  of  Naples, 
8000  ounces  of  gold.  Kirsch,  in  his  interesting  and  valuable  treatment,  pub- 
lishes the  ledger  entries  made  in  the  official  registers,  deposited  in  Rome  and 
Avignon  and  giving  in  detail  the  expenses  incurred  on  the  visits  of  Urban  and 
Gregory  XI.  Gregorovius,  VI.  430  sqq.,  gives  an  account  of  Urban's  pil- 
grimage in  his  most  brilliant  style. 


106  THB  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

1368,  as  shown  in  the  report  of  the  papal  treasurer,  Gaucelin 
de  Pradello,  were  15,559  florins,  or  *  39,000.* 

During  the  sixty  years  that  had  elapsed  since  Clement  V. 
fixed  the  papal  residence  in  France,  Rome  had  been  reduced 
almost  to  a  museum  of  Christian  monuments,  as  it  had  before 
been  a  museum  of  pagan  ruins.  The  aristocratic  families 
had  forsaken  the  city.  The  Lateran  had  again  fallen  a  prey 
to  the  flames  in  1360.  St.  Paul's  was  desolate.  Rubbish  or 
stagnant  pools  filled  the  streets.  The  population  was  reduced 
to  20,000  or  perhaps  17,000.2  The  return  of  the  papacy  was 
compared  by  Petrarch  to  Israel  returning  out  of  Egypt. 

Urban  set  about  the  restoration  of  churches.  He  gave  1000 
florins  to  the  Lateran  and  spent  5000  on  St.  Paul's.  Rome 
showed  signs  of  again  becoming  the  centre  of  European  so- 
ciety and  politics.  Joanna,  queen  of  Naples,  visited  the  city, 
and  so  did  the  king  of  Cyprus  and  the  emperor,  Charles 
IV.  In  1369  John  V.  Palseologus,  the  Byzantine  emperor, 
arrived,  a  suppliant  for  aid  against  the  Turks,  and  publicly 
made  solemn  abjuration  of  his  schismatic  tenets. 

The  old  days  seemed  to  have  returned,  but  Urban  was  not 
satisfied.  He  had  not  the  courage  nor  the  wide  vision  to 
sacrifice  his  own  pleasure  for  the  good  of  his  office.  Had  he 
so  done,  the  disastrous  schism  might  have  been  averted.  He 
turned  his  face  back  towards  Avignon,  where  he  arrived  "  at 
the  hour  of  vespers,"  Sept.  27,  1370.  He  survived  his  re- 
turn scarcely  two  months,  and  died  Dec.  19,  1370,  uni- 
versally beloved  and  already  honored  as  a  saint. 

§  11.    The  Re-establishment  of  the  Papacy  in  Rome.     1377. 

Of  the  nineteen  cardinals  who  entered  the  conclave  at  the 
death  of  Urban  V.,  all  but  four  were  Frenchmen.  The  choice 
immediately  fell  on  Gregory  XL,  the  son  of  a  French  count. 
At  17  he  had  been  made  cardinal  by  his  uncle,  Clement  VI. 

1  The  accounts  are  published  entire  by  Kirsch,  pp.  ix  sqq.  xxx,  109-165. 

2D611inger,  The  Church  and  the  Churches,  Engl.  trans.,  1862,' p.  858, 
puts  the  population  at  17,000.  Gregorovius,  VI.  438,  makes  the  estimate 
somewhat  higher. 


§  11.      EB-ESTABLISHMENT   OF  THE   PAPACY  IN  ROME.     107 

His  contemporaries  praised  him  for  his  moral  purity,  affa- 
bility, and  piety.  He  showed  his  national  sympathies  by 
appointing  18  Frenchmen  cardinals  and  filling  papal  appoint- 
ments in  Italy  with  French  officials.  In  English  history  he 
is  known  for  his  condemnation  of  Wyclif.  His  pontificate 
extended  from  1370-1378. 

With  Gregory's  name  is  associated  the  re-establishment  of 
the  papacy  in  its  proper  home  on  the  Tiber.  For  this  change 
the  pope  deserves  no  credit.  It  was  consummated  against 
his  will.  He  went  to  Rome,  but  was  engaged  in  prepara- 
tions to  return  to  Avignon,  when  death  suddenly  overtook 
him. 

That  which  principally  moved  Gregory  to  return  to  Rome 
was  the  flame  of  rebellion  which  filled  Central  and  Northern 
Italy,  and  threatened  the  papacy  with  the  permanent  loss  of 
its  dominions.  The  election  of  an  anti-pope  was  contem- 
plated by  the  Italians,  as  a  delegation  from  Rome  informed 
him.  One  remedy  was  open  to  crush  revolt  on  the  banks  of 
the  Tiber.  It  was  the  presence  of  the  pope  himself.1 

Gregory  had  carried  on  war  for  five  years  with  the  dis- 
turbing elements  in  Italy.  In  the  northern  parts  of  the 
peninsula,  political  anarchy  swept  from  city  to  city.  Sol- 
diers of  fortune,  the  most  famous  of  whom  was  the  English- 
man, John  Hawkwood,  spread  terror  wherever  they  went. 
In  Milan,  the  tyrant  Bernabo  was  all-powerful  and  truculent. 
In  Florence,  the  revolt  was  against  the  priesthood  itself,  and 
a  red  flag  was  unfurled,  on  which  was  inscribed  the  word 
"  Liberty."  A  league  of  80  cities  was  formed  to  abolish  the 
pope's  secular  power.  The  interdict  hurled  against  the 
Florentines,  March  31,  1376,  for  the  part  they  were  taking 
in  the  sedition,  contained  atrocious  clauses,  giving  every  one 
the  right  to  plunder  the  city  and  to  make  slaves  of  her 
people  wherever  they  might  be  found.2  Genoa  and  Pisa 

1  Pastor,  Hergenrather-Kirsch,  Kirsch,  RUckkehr,  p.  xvii ;   Mirot,  p.  viii, 
7  sq.,  and  other  Catholic  historians  agree  that  this  was  Gregory's  chief  motive. 
Mirot,  pp.  10-18,  ascribes  to  Gregory  three  controlling  ideas  — the  reform  of 
the  Church,  the  re-establishment  of  peace  with  the  East  as  a  preliminary  to  a 
new  crusade  against  the  Turks,  and  the  return  of  the  papacy  to  Rome. 

2  Baluz,  I.  436,  Gieseler,  IV.  1,  p.  90  sq.,  give  the  bull 


108  THE  MIDDLE  AQES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

followed  Florence  and  incurred  a  like  papal  malediction. 
The  papal  city,  Bologna,  was  likewise  stirred  to  rebellion  in 
1376  by  its  sister  city  on  the  Arno. 

Florence  fanned  the  flames  of  rebellion  in  Rome  and  the 
other  papal  towns,  calling  upon  them  to  throw  off  the  yoke 
of  tyranny  and  return  to  their  pristine  liberty.  What 
Italian,  its  manifesto  proclaimed,  "  can  endure  the  sight  of 
so  many  noble  cities,  serving  barbarians  appointed  by  the 
pope  to  devour  the  goods  of  Italy  ?  " 1  But  Rome  remained 
true  to  the  pope,  as  did  Ancona.  On  the  other  hand,  Perugia, 
Narni,  Viterbo,  and  Ferrara,  in  1375,  raised  the  banner  of 
rebellion  until  revolt  threatened  to  spread  over  the  whole  of 
the  papal  patrimony.  The  bitter  feeling  against  the  French 
officials  was  intensified  by  a  detachment  of  10,000  Breton 
mercenaries  which  the  pope  sent  to  crush  the  revolution. 
They  were  under  the  leadership  of  Cardinal  Robert  of  Geneva, 
—  afterward  Clement  VII.,  —  an  iron-hearted  soldier  and 
pitiless  priest.  It  was  as  plain  as  day,  Pastor  says,  that 
Gregory's  return  was  the  only  thing  that  could  save  Rome 
to  the  papacy. 

To  the  urgency  of  these  civil  commotions  were  added  the 
pure  voices  of  prophetesses,  which  rose  above  the  confused 
sounds  of  revolt  and  arms,  the  voices  of  Brigitta  of  Sweden 
and  Catherine  of  Siena,  both  canonized  saints. 

Petrarch,  who  for  nearly  half  a  century  had  been  urging 
the  pope's  return,  now,  in  his  last  days,  replied  to  a  French 
advocate  who  compared  Rome  to  Jericho,  the  town  to  which 
the  man  was  going  who  fell  among  thieves,  and  stigmatized 
Avignon  as  the  sewer  of  the  earth.  He  died  1374,  without 
seeing  the  consuming  desire  of  his  life  fulfilled.  Guided  by 
patriotic  instincts,  he  had  carried  into  his  appeals  the  feeling 
of  an  Italian's  love  of  his  country.  Brigitta  and  Catherine 
made  their  appeals  to  Gregory  on  higher  than  national  grounds, 
the  utility  of  Christendom  and  the  advantage  of  the  king- 
dom of  God.  Emerging  from  visions  and  ecstatic  moods  of 
devotion,  they  called  upon  the  Church's  chief  bishop  to  be 
faithful  to  the  obligations  of  his  holy  office. 

1  Quoted  by  Mirot,  p.  48,  and  Gregorovius,  VI.  466  sqq. 


§  11.     HE-ESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  PAPACY  IN  BOMB.      109 

On  the  death  of  her  husband,  St.  Brigitta  left  her  Scandi- 
navian home  and  joined  the  pilgrims  whose  faces  were  set 
towards  Rome  in  the  Jubilee  year  of  1350.1  Arriving  in  the 
papal  city,  the  hope  of  seeing  both  the  emperor  and  the  pope 
once  more  in  that  centre  of  spiritual  and  imperial  power 
moved  her  to  the  devotions  of  the  saint  and  the  messages  of 
the  seer.  She  spent  her  time  in  going  from  church  to  church 
and  ministering  to  the  sick,  or  sat  clad  in  pilgrim's  garb,  beg- 
ging. Her  revelations,  which  were  many,  brought  upon  her 
the  resentment  of  the  Romans.  She  saw  Urban  enter  the 
city  and,  when  he  announced  his  purpose  to  return  again  to 
France,  she  raised  her  voice  in  prediction  of  his  speedy  death, 
in  case  he  persisted  in  it.  When  Gregory  ascended  the 
throne,  she  warned  him  that  he  would  die  prematurely  if  he 
kept  away  from  the  residence  divinely  appointed  for  the 
supreme  pontiff.  But  to  her,  also,  it  was  not  given  to  see  the 
fulfilment  of  her  desire.  The  worldliness  of  the  popes  stirred 
her  to  bitter  complaints.  Peter,  she  exclaimed,  "  was  appointed 
pastor  and  minister  of  Christ's  sheep,  but  the  pope  scatters 
them  and  lacerates  them.  He  is  worse  than  Lucifer,  more  un- 
just than  Pilate,  more  cruel  than  Judas.  Peter  ascended  the 
throne  in  humility,  Boniface  in  pride. "  To  Gregory  she  wrote, 
"  in  thy  curia  arrogant  pride  rules,  insatiable  cupidity  and  exe- 
crable luxury.  It  is  the  very  deepest  gulf  of  horrible  simony.2 
Thou  seizest  and  tearest  from  the  Lord  innumerable  sheep." 
And  yet  she  was  worthy  to  be  declared  a  saint.  She  died  in 
1373.  Her  daughter  Catherine  took  the  body  to  Sweden. 

Catherine  of  Siena  was  more  fortunate.  She  saw  the 
papacy  re-established  in  Italy,  but  she  also  witnessed  the  un- 
happy beginnings  of  the  schism.  This  Tuscan  prophetess, 
called  by  a  sober  Catholic  historian,  "one  of  the  most  won- 
derful appearances  in  history,"  8  wrote  letter  after  letter  to 

1  Brigitta  was  born  near  Upsala,  1803.    See  Gardner,  St.  Catherine  of 
Siena,  p.  44  sqq.    Mlinger  has  called  attention  to  the  failure  of  her  prophe- 
cies to  be  fulfilled,  Fables  and  frophecies  of  the  Middle  Age*,  trans,  by 
Prof.  Henry  B.  Smith,  pp.  831,  398. 

2  Vorago  pessima  horribilis  symoniae,  Brigitta's  Revelationes,  as  quoted 
by  Gieseler,  Haller,  p.  88,  and  Gardner,  p.  78  sq. 

8  Pastor,  I.  103. 


110  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Gregory  XI.  whom  she  called  "  sweet  Christ  on  earth,"  appeal- 
ing to  him  and  admonishing  him  to  do  his  duty  as  the  head 
of  the  Church,  and  to  break  away  from  his  exile,  which  she 
represented  as  the  source  of  all  the  evils  with  which  Christen- 
dom was  afflicted.  "  Be  a  true  successor  of  St.  Gregory,"  she 
wrote.  "  Love  God.  Do  not  bind  yourself  to  your  parents 
and  your  friends.  Do  not  be  held  by  the  compulsion  of 
your  surroundings.  Aid  will  come  from  God. "  His  return  to 
Rome  and  the  starting  of  a  new  crusade  against  the  Turks, 
she  represented  as  necessary  conditions  of  efficient  measures 
to  reform  the  Church.  She  bade  him  return  "  swiftly  like  a 
gentle  lamb.  Respond  to  the  Holy  Spirit  who  calls  you.  I 
tell  you,  Come,  come,  come,  and  do  not  wait  for  time, 
since  time  does  not  wait  for  you.  Then  you  will  do  like 
the  Lamb  slain,  whose  place  you  hold,  who,  without  weapons 
in  his  hands,  slew  our  foes.  Be  manly  in  my  sight,  not  fear- 
ful. Answer  God,  who  calls  you  to  hold  and  possess  the  seat 
of  the  glorious  shepherd,  St.  Peter,  whose  vicar  you  are." l 

Gregory  received  a  letter  purporting  to  come  from  a  man 
of  God,  warning  him  of  the  poison  which  awaited  him  at  Rome 
and  appealing  to  his  timidity  and  his  love  of  his  family.  In 
a  burning  epistle,  Catherine  showed  that  only  the  devil  or  one 
of  his  emissaries  could  be  the  author  of  such  a  communication, 
and  called  upon  him  as  a  good  shepherd  to  pay  more  honor  to 
God  and  the  well-being  of  his  flock  than  to  his  own  safety,  for 
a  good  shepherd,  if  necessary,  lays  down  his  life  for  the  sheep. 
The  servants  of  God  are  not  in  the  habit  of  giving  up  a 
spiritual  act  for  fear  of  bodily  harm.2 

In  1376,  Catherine  saw  Gregory  face  to  face  in  Avignon, 
whither  she  went  as  a  commissioner  from  Florence  to  arrange 
a  peace  between  the  city  and  the  pope.  The  papal  residence 
she  found  not  a  paradise  of  heavenly  virtues,  as  she  expected, 
but  in  it  the  stench  of  infernal  vices.8  The  immediate  object 

i  Scudder :  Letters  of  St.  Catherine,  p.  132  sq.;  Gardner,  pp.  158, 176,  etc. 

*  Scudder,  p.  182  sqq. 

*  This  was  Catherine's  deposition  to  her  confessor.    See  Mirbt :  Quellen, 
p.  154,  in  romana  curia,  ubi  deberet  paradisus  etse  c&licarwn  vlrtutum,  in- 
veniebat  fcstorem  infernalium  vitiarum. 


§  11.      RE-ESTABLISHMKNT   OF  THE  PAPACY  IN  BOMB.      Ill 

of  the  mission  was  not  accomplished;  but  her  unselfish  appeals 
confirmed  Gregory  in  his  decision  to  return  to  Rome  —  a  de- 
cision he  had  already  formed  before  Catherine's  visit,  as  the 
pope's  own  last  words  indicate.1 

As  early  as  1374,  Gregory  wrote  to  the  emperor  that  it  was 
his  intention  to  re-establish  the  papacy  on  the  Tiber.2  A  mem- 
ber of  the  papal  household,  Bertrand  Raffini,  was  sent  ahead 
to  prepare  the  Vatican  for  his  reception.  The  journey  was 
delayed.  It  was  hard  for  the  pope  to  get  away  from  France. 
His  departure  was  vigorously  resisted  by  his  relatives  as  well 
as  by  the  French  cardinals  and  the  French  king,  who  sent  a 
delegation  to  Avignon,  headed  by  his  brother,  the  duke  of 
Anjou,  to  dissuade  Gregory  from  his  purpose. 

The  journey  was  begun  Sept.  13, 1376.  Six  cardinals  were 
left  behind  at  Avignon  to  take  care  of  the  papal  business. 
The  fleet  which  sailed  from  Marseilles  was  provided  by  Joanna 
of  Naples,  Peter  IV.  of  Aragon,  the  Knights  of  St.  John, 
and  the  Italian  republics,  but  the  vessels  were  not  sufficient 
to  carry  the  large  party  and  the  heavy  cargo  of  personal  bag- 
gage and  supplies.  The  pope  was  obliged  to  rent  a  number 
of  additional  galleys  and  boats.  Fernandez  of  Heredia,  who 
had  just  been  elected  grand-master  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John, 
acted  as  admiral.  A  strong  force  of  mercenaries  was  also  re- 
quired for  protection  by  sea  and  at  the  frequent  stopping 
places  along  the  coast,  and  for  service,  if  necessary,  in  Rome 
itself.  The  expenses  of  this  peaceful  A  rmada  —  vessels,  mer- 
cenaries, and  cargo  —  are  carefully  tabulated  in  the  ledgers 
preserved  in  Avignon  and  the  Vatican.8  The  first  entries  of 

1  Mirot,  p.  101,  is  quite  sure  Catherine  had  no  influence  in  bringing  Greg- 
ory to  his  original  decision.    So  also  Pastor  and  Gardner. 

2  Later  biographers  tell  of  a  vow  made  by  Gregory  at  the  opening  of  his 
pontificate  to  return  to  Rome,  but  no  contemporary  writer  has  any  reference  to 
it,  Mirot,  p.  52. 

8  Kirsch,  pp.  169-264,  gives  a  copy  of  these  ledger  entries.  One  set  contains 
the  expenses  of  preparation,  one  set  the  expenses  from  Marseilles  to  Rome, 
and  a  third  set,  the  expenses  after  arriving  in  Rome.  Still  another  gives  the 
expenses  of  repairing  the  Vatican — the  wages  of  workmen  and  the  prices  paid 
for  lumber,  lead,  iron,  keys,  etc.  On  the  back  of  this  last  volume,  which  is  in 
the  Vatican,  are  written  the  words,  "  JSxpensas  palatii  apostolici,  1370-1380." 


112  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

expense  are  for  the  large  consignments  of  Burgundy  and  other 
wines  which  were  to  be  used  on  the  way,  or  stored  away  in 
the  vaults  of  the  Vatican.1  The  cost  of  the  journey  was  heavy, 
and  it  should  occasion  no  surprise  that  the  pope  was  obliged 
to  increase  the  funds  at  his  control  at  this  time  by  borrowing 
30,000  gold  florins  from  the  king  of  Navarre.2  The  papal 
moneys,  amounting  to  85,713  florins,  were  carried  from  Avi- 
gnon to  Marseilles  in  twelve  chests  on  pack  horses  and  mules, 
and  in  boats.  To  this  amount  were  added  later  41,527  florins, 
or,  in  all,  about  $300,000  of  our  present  coinage.  The  cost 
of  the  boats  and  mercenaries  was  very  large,  and  several  times 
the  boatmen  made  increased  demands  for  their  services  and 
craft  to  which  the  papal  party  was  forced  to  accede.  Ray  mund 
of  Turenne,  who  was  in  command  of  the  mercenaries,  received 
700  florins  a  month  for  his  "  own  person,"  each  captain  with 
a  banner  24  florins,  and  each  lance  with  three  men  under  him 
18  florins  monthly.  Nor  were  the  obligations  of  charity  to  be 
overlooked.  Durandus  Andreas,  the  papal  eleemosynary,  re- 
ceived 100  florins  to  be  distributed  in  alms  on  the  journey, 
and  still  another  100  to  be  distributed  after  the  party's  arrival 
at  Rome.8 

The  elements  seemed  to  war  with  the  expedition.  The  fleet 
had  no  sooner  set  sail  from  Marseilles  than  a  fierce  storm  arose 
whichlasted  several  weeks  and  made  the  journey  tedious.  Urban 
V.  was  three  days  in  reaching  Genoa,  Gregory  sixteen.  From 
Genoa,  the  vessels  continued  southwards  the  full  distance  to 
Ostia,  anchorage  being  made  every  night  off  towns.  From 
Ostia,  Gregory  went  up  the  Tiber  by  boat,  landing  at  Rome 
Dec.  16, 1377.  The  journey  was  made  by  night  and  the  banks 
were  lit  up  by  torches,  showing  the  feverish  expectation  of  the 
people.  Disembarking  at  St.  Paul's,  the  pope  proceeded  the 
next  day,  Jan.  17,  to  St.  Peter's,  accompanied  by  rejoicing 

1  Kirsch,  pp.  xviii,  171,  Mirot,  p.  112  sq.,  says,  Lea  vins  paraissent  avoir 
tenu  une  grande  place  dans  le  retour,  et,  &  la  veille  du  depart,  on  s'occupa  tant 
d' assurer  le  service  de  la  bouteillerie  durant  le  voyage,  que  de  garnir  en  previ- 
sion de  Varrivee,  les  caves  du  Vatican. 

2  Kirsch,  p.  184.    For  other  loans  made  by  Gregory,  e.g.  80,000  florins  in 
1374  and  60,000  in  1376,  see  Mirot,  p.  36. 

8  Kirsch,  pp.  xz,  xxii,  170. 


§  11.       RE-ESTABLISHMENT  OF   THE  PAPACY   IN   ROME.     113 

throngs.  In  the  procession  were  bands  of  buffoons  who 
added  to  the  interest  of  the  spectacle  and  afforded  pastime 
to  the  populace.  The  pope  abode  in  the  Vatican  and, 
from  that  time  till  this  day,  it  has  continued  to  be  the  papal 
residence. 

Gregory  survived  his  entrance  into  the  Eternal  City  a  single 
year.  He  spent  the  warmer  months  in  Anagni,  where  he  must 
have  had  mixed  feelings  as  he  recalled  the  experiences  of  his 
predecessor  Boniface  VIII.,  which  had  been  the  immediate 
cause  of  the  transfer  of  the  papal  residence  to  French  soil. 
The  atrocities  practised  at  Cesena  by  Cardinal  Robert  cast  a 
dark  shadow  over  the  events  of  the  year.  An  uprising  of  the 
inhabitants  in  consequence  of  the  brutality  of  his  Breton  troops 
drove  them  and  the  cardinal  to  seek  refuge  in  the  citadel. 
Hawkwood  was  called  in,  and,  in  spite  of  the  cardinal's  pacific 
assurances,  the  mercenaries  fell  upon  the  defenceless  people 
and  committed  a  butchery  whose  shocking  details  made  the 
ears  of  all  Italy  to  tingle.  Four  thousand  were  put  to  death, 
including  friars  in  their  churches,  and  still  other  thousands 
were  sent  forth  naked  and  cold  to  find  what  refuge  they  could 
in  neighboring  towns.  But,  in  spite  of  this  barbarity,  the 
pope's  authority  was  acknowledged  by  an  enlarging  circle  of 
Italian  commonwealths,  including  Bologna.  Florence,  even, 
sued  for  peace. 

When  Gregory  died,  March  27, 1378,  he  was  only  47  years 
old.  By  his  request,  his  body  was  laid  to  rest  in  S.  Maria 
Nuova  on  the  Forum.  In  his  last  hours,  he  is  said  to  have 
regretted  having  given  his  ear  to  the  voice  of  Catherine  of 
Siena,  and  he  admonished  the  cardinals  not  to  listen  to  proph- 
ecies as  he  had  done.1  Nevertheless,  the  monument  erected 
to  Gregory  at  Rome  two  hundred  years  later  is  true  to  history 
in  representing  Catherine  of  Siena  walking  at  the  pope's  side 
as  if  conducting  him  back  to  Rome.  The  Babylonian  captiv- 
ity of  the  papacy  had  lasted  nearly  three-quarters  of  a  cen- 
tury. The  wonder  is  that  with  the  pope  virtually  a  vassal  of 

1  So  Gerson,  De  examinatione  doctrinarum,  I.  16,  as  quoted  by  Gieseler, 
ut  caverent  ab  hominibus  sive  viris  give  mulieribus,  sub  specie  religionis  lo- 
quentibus  visiones  .  .  .  quia  per  tales  ipse  reductus.  See  Pastor,  I.  113. 


114  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

France,  Western  Christendom  remained  united.  Scarcely 
anything  in  history  seems  more  unnatural  than  the  voluntary 
residence  of  the  popes  in  the  commonplace  town  on  the  Rhone 
remote  from  the  burial-place  of  the  Apostles  and  from  the 
centres  of  European  life. 


CHAPTER  II. 

THE    PAPAL     SCHISM    AND    THE    REFORMATORY    COUNCILS. 

1378-1449. 

§  12.    Sources  and  Literature. 

For  §§  13,  14.  THE  PAPAL  SCHISM.  —  Orig.  documents  in  RAYNALDUS  : 
Annal.  eccles. —  C.  E.  BULAUS,  d.  1078  :  Hist,  univer.  Parisiensis,  6  vols.,  Paris, 
1005-1073,  vol.  IV.  —  VAN  DKR  HARDT,  see  §  16.  — H.  DBNIFLK  and  A.  CHATE- 
LAIN:  Chartul.  universitatis  Paris.,  4  vols.,  Paris,  1889-1897,  vols.  III.,  IV., 
especially  the  part  headed  de  schismate,  III.  552-039.  — THEODERICH  OF  NIE- 
IIEIM  (Niem) :  de  Kchismate  inter  papas  et  antipapas,  Basel,  1660,  ed.  by 
GKO.  EKLER,  Leipzig,  1890.  Nieheim,  b.  near  Paderborn,  d  1417,  had  ex- 
ceptional opportunities  for  observing  the  progress  of  events.  He  was  papal 
secretary  —  notarius  sacn  palatii  —  at  Avignon,  went  with  Gregory  XI.  to 
Rome,  was  there  at  the  breaking  out  of  the  schism,  and  held  official  positions 
under  three  of  the  popes  of  the  Roman  line.  In  1408  he  joined  the  Livorno 
cardinals,  and  supported  Alexander  V,  and  John  XXIII.  —  See  H.  V.  SAUER- 
LANI>:  D.  Leben  d.  Dietrich  von  Nieheim  nebxt  enter  Uebersicht  fiber  dessen 
Srhrtften,  Gottingen,  187/3,  and  G.  ERLKK  Dietr.  von  Nieheim,  sein  Leben 
u.  s.  Schriften,  Leipzig,  1887. — ADAM  OF  USK  :  Chroniron,  1377-1421,  2d 
ed  by  E.  M.  THOMPSON,  with  Engl.  trans.,  London,  1904  — MARTIN  DE 
ALPARTILS:  Chronica  actitatorum  temporibus  Domini  Benedicti  XIII. 
ed.  Fr.  Ehrle,  S.J.,  vol.  I,  Paderborn,  1900.  —  W^CLIF'S  writings,  Lives 
of  Boniface  IX.  and  Innocent  VII.  in  Muratori,  III.  2,  pp.  830  sqq., 
JW8  sq.  — P.  DUPUY:  Hist,  du  schisme  1378-1420,  Paris,  1654.  — P. 
L.  MAIMBOURG  (Jesuit):  Hist,  du  grand  schisme  d"  Occident,  Paris, 
1078.  —  EHRLE:  Neue  Materialien  zur  Gesch.  Peters  von  Luna  (Bene- 
dict XIII.),  in  Archiv  fur  Lit.  und  Kirchengesch.,  VI.  139  sqq.,  VII. 
1  8qq.  —  L.  GAYET:  Le  grand  schisme  d1  Occident,  2  vols.,  Florence  and 
Berlin,  1889. — C.  LOCKE:  Age  of  the  Great  Western  Schism,  New  York, 
1896.  —  PAUL  VAN  DYKE  :  Age  of  the  Renascence,  an  Outline  of  the  Hist,  of 
the  Papacy,  1S77-1587,  New  York,  1897.  — L.  SAI.KMBIER  :  Le  grand  schisme 
(V  Occident,  Paris,  1900,  3d  ed.,  1907.  Engl.  trans.,  London,  1907.  — N.  VALOIS  : 
La  France  et  le  grand  schisme  d1  Occident,  4  vols.,  Paris,  1896-1901.  — E. 
GOELLER  :  Konig  Sigismund's  Kirchenpolitik  vom  Tode  Bonifaz  IX.  bis  zur 
Berufung  d.  Konstanzer  Concils,  Freiburg,  1902.  —  M.  JANSEN  :  Papst  Boni- 
fatius  IX.  u.  s.  Beziehungen  zur  deutschen  Kirche,  Freiburg,  1904.  —  H. 
BRUCE  :  The  Age  of  Schism,  New  York,  1907.  —  E.  J.  KITTS  :  In  the  Days 
of  the  Councils.  A  Sketch  of  the  Life  and  Times  of  Baldassare  Cossa,  John 
XXIII. ,  London,  1908.  —  HEFELK-KNOPFLER  :  Conciliengesch.,  VI.  727-936. 

116 


116  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

—  HERGENBOTHER-KIRSCH,  II.  807-833.  —  GREGOROVIUB,  VI.  494-611.  —  PAS- 
TOR,  I.  116-176.  — CREIGHTON,  I.  66-200. 

For  §§  16, 16.  THK  COUNCILS  OF  PISA  AND  CONSTANCE. —M ANSI  :  Concilia, 
XXVI.,  XXVII.  — LABB^US:  Concilia,  XL,  XII.  1-269.  —  HERMANN  VAN 
DEB  HAKDT,  Prof,  of  Hebrew  and  librarian  at  Helmstadt,  d.  1746:  Magnum 
oecumenicum  Constantiense  Concilium  de  universali  ecclesice  reformatione, 
unione  et  fide,  6  vols.,  Frankfurt  and  Leipzig,  1696-1700.  A  monumental 
work,  noted  alike  as  a  mine  of  historical  materials  and  for  its  total  lack  of 
order  in  their  arrangement.  In  addition  to  the  acts  and  history  of  the  Coun- 
cil of  Constance,  it  gives  many  valuable  contemporary  documents,  e.g.  the 
De  corrupto  statu  eccles.,  also  entitled  De  ruina  cedes  ,  of  NICOLAS  OF  CLA- 
MANOES  ;  the  De  modis  uniendi  et  reformandi  eccles.  in  concilio  universali ; 
De  difficultate  reformationis;  and  Monita  de  necessitate  reformationis  eccles. 
in  capite  et  membris,  —  all  probably  by  NIEHEIM  ;  and  a  Hist,  of  the  Council, 
by  DIETRICH  VRIE,  an  Augustinian,  finished  at  Constance,  1417.  These 
are  all  in  vol.  I.  Vol.  II.  contains  Henry  of  Limgenstein's  ConsiliuM 
pads :  De  unione  ac  reformatione  ecclesice,  pp.  1-60  ;  a  Hist,  of  the.  c.  of  Pisa, 
pp.  61-166 ;  NIEHEIM'S  Invectiva  in  diffugientem  Johannem  XXHL  and  de 
vita  Johan.  XXIII.  usque  adfugam  et  carcerem  ejus,  pp.  296-459,  etc.  The 
vols.  are  enriched  with  valuable  illustrations.  Volume  V.  contains  a  stately 
array  of  pictures  of  the  seals  and  escutcheons  of  the  princes  and  prelates 
attending  the  council  in  person  or  by  proxy,  and  the  fourteen  univeisitit's 
represented.  The  work  also  contains  biogg.  of  D'Ailly,  Gerson,  Zarabella, 
etc. — LANGENSTEIN'S  Consilium  pads  is  also  given  in  Du  Pin's  ed.  of  Gerson's 
Works,  ed.  1728,  vol.  II.  809-839.  The  tracts  De  difficultate  reformationis  and 
Monita  de  necessitate,  etc.,  are  also  found  in  Du  Pin,  II.  867-876,  885-902, 
and  ascribed  to  Peter  D'Ailly.  The  tracts  De  reformatione  and  De  eccles., 
concil.  generalis,  romani  pontificis  et  cardinahum  auctoritate,  also  ascribed 
to  D'Ailly  in  Du  Pin,  II.  903-915,  925-960.  —  ULRICH  VON  RICHEXTAL  :  Das 
Concilium  so  ze  Costenz  gehalten  worden,  ed.  by  M.  R.  BUCK,  Tubingen, 
1882. — Also  MARMION  :  Gesch.  d.  Cone,  von  Konstanz  nach  Ul.  von  Richental, 
Constance,  1860.  Richental,  a  resident  of  Constance,  wrote  from  his  own 
personal  observation  a  quaint  and  highly  interesting  narrative.  First  publ., 
Augsburg,  1483.  The  MS.  may  still  be  seen  in  Constance.  —  *H.  FINKR: 
Forschungen  u.  Quellen  zur  Gesch.  des  Konst.  Konzils,  Paderborn,  1889. 
Contains  the  valuable  diary  of  Card.  Fillastre,  etc  — *FINKE  :  Actas  cone.  Con- 
stanciensis,  1410-1414,  Mlinster,  1906. — J.  L'ENFANT  (Huguenot  refugee 
in  Berlin,  d.  1728)  :  Hist,  duconc.  de  Constance,  Amsterdam,  1714  ;  also  Hist, 
du  cone,  de  Pisa,  Amsterdam,  1724,  Engl.  trans.,  2  vols.,  London,  1780. — 
B.  H&BLER:  Die  Konstanzer  Reformation  u.  d.  Konkordate  von  1418,  Leipzig, 
1867.— U.  LENZ:  Drei  Traktate  aus  d.  Schriftencyclus  d.  Konst.  Konzils, 
Marburg,  1876.  Discusses  the  authorship  of  the  tracts  De  modis,  De  necessi- 
tate, and  De  difficultate,  ascribing  them  to  Nieheim.  —  B.  BKSB  :  Studien  zur 
Gesch.  d.  Konst.  Konzils,  Marburg,  1891. — J.  H.  WTLIE:  The  Counc.  of 
Const,  to  the  Death  ofj.  Hus,  London,  1900.  — *J.  B.  SCHWAB:  J.  Gerson, 
Wtirzburg,  1868.  — *  P.  TSCHACKERT  :  Peter  von  Ailli,  Gotha,  1877.  — DOL- 
LINOEB-FRIEDRICH  :  D.  Papstthum,  new  ed.,  Munich,  1892,  pp.  164-164.— 
F.  X.  FUNK  :  Martin  V.  und  d.  Konzil  von  Konstanz  in  Abhandlungen  u. 


§  IS,      THE  SCHISM  BEGUN.      1378.  117 

Untersuchungen,  2  vols.,  Paderborn,  1897,  I.  489-498. —  The  works  cited  in 
§  1,  especially,  CREIGHTON,  I.  200-420,  HEFELE,  VI.  992-1043,  VII.  1-376, 
PASTOR,  I.  188-279,  VALOIS,  IV.,  SALEMBIER,  260  sqq.;  Eine  Invektive 
gegen  Gregor  xii.,  Nov.  1,  1408,  in  Ztschr.  f.  Kirchengesch.,  1907,  p.  188  sq. 
For  §  17.  THE  COUNCIL  OP  BASEL.  —  Lives  of  Martin  V.  and  Eugenius  IV. 
in  MANBI:  XXVIII.  975  sqq.,  1171  sqq. ;  in  MDRATOBI:  Ital.  Scripp.,  and 
PLATINA:  Hist,  of  the  Popes,  Engl.  trans.,  II.  200-236.  —  MANSI,  XXIX.- 
XXXI. ;  LABBJSITS,  XII.  464-XIII.  1280.— For  C.  of  Siena,  MANSI:  XXVIII. 
1058-1082. — Monum.  concil.  general,  soec.  XV.,  ed.  by  PALACKY,  3  vols.,  Vi- 
enna, 1867-1896.  Contains  an  account  of  C.  of  Siena  by  JOHN  STOJKORIC  of 
Ragusa,  a  delegate  from  the  Univ.  of  Paris.  — JOHN  DE  SEGOVIA  :  Hist.  gest. 
gener.  Basil,  cone.,  new  ed.,  Vienna,  1873.  Segovia,  a  Spaniard,  was  a 
prominent  figure  in  the  Basel  Council  and  one  of  Felix  V/s  cardinals.  For 
his  writings,  see  HALLER'S  Introd.  —  Concil.  Basiliense.  Studien  und  Quellen 
zur  Gesch.  d.  Concils  von  Basel,  with  Introd.  ed.  by  T.  HALLER,  4  vols., 
Basel,  1896-1903.  —  .&NEAS  SYLVIUS  PICCOLOMINI:  Commentarii  de  gestis 
concil.  Basil,  written  1440  to  justify  Felix's  election,  ed.  by  FEA,  Rome,  1823 ; 
also  Hist.  Frederici  III.,  trans,  by  T.  ILGEN,  2  vols.,  Leipzig.  No  date. 
-flSneas,  afterward  Pius  II.,  •«  did  not  say  and  think  the  same  thing  at  all 
times,"  says  HALLER,  Introd.,  p  12. — See  VOIGT  :  Enea  Sylvio  de'  Picco- 
lomini,  etc.,  3  vols.,  Berlin,  1860-1803.  —  INFESSURA  :  Diario  dclla  citta  di 
Koma,  Home,  1890,  pp.  22-42.  —  F.  P.  ABERT;  Eugenius  IV.,  Mainz,  1884. 

—  WATTENBACH  :  Horn.  Papstthum,  pp.  271-284.  — HEFELE-KNOPFLBR,  VII. 
376-849. — POLLINGER-FRIEDRICII  :  Papstthum,  100  sqq. — CREIGHTON,  II.  3- 
273.  —  PASTOR,  I.  209-306.  —  GRK<JOROVIUS,  VI.-VII.  —  M.  G.  PEROUSE: 
Louis  Al eman  et  la  fin  du  grand  schisme,  Paris,  1905.     A  detailed  account 
of  the  C.  of  Basel 

For  §  18.  THE  FERRARA-FLORENrE  COUNCIL. — ABRAM  OF  CRETE:  His- 
toria,  in  Latin  trans.,  Rome,  1621 ;  the  Greek  original  by  order  of  Gregory 
XIII ,  Rome,  1677  ;  new  Latin  trans.,  Rome,  1612.  —  SYLV.  SYROPULOS  :  Vera 
hist,  unionis  non  verce  inter  Grceros  et  Latinos,  ed.  by  CREYGHTON,  Haag,  1660, 

—  MANSI,  XXXI.,  contains  the  documents  collected  by  Mansi  himself,  and 
also  the  Acts  published  by  HORATIUS  JUSTINIAN,  XXXI.  1356-1711,  from  a 
Vatican  MS.,  1638.     The  Greek  and  Latin  texts  are  printed  side  by  side. — 
LABBJKUS  and  HARDUIN  also  give  Justinian's  Acts  and  their  own  collections.  — 
T.  FROMMANN  :  Krit.  Beitrdge  zur  Gesch.  d.  florentinischen  Kircheneinigung, 
Halle,  1872.     KNOPFLER,  art.  Ferrara-Florenz,  in  Wetzer-Welte  :  IV.  1363- 
1380.    TSCHACKKRT,   art.    Ferrara-Florenz,  in  Herfcog,  VI.  46-48.  ~DoL- 
LINGER-FRIEDRICH  :  Papstthum,  pp.  166-171. 


§  13.     The  Schism  Begun.     1378. 

The  death  of  Gregory  XI.  was  followed  by  the  schism  of 
Western  Christendom,  which  lasted  forty  years,  and  proved  to 
be  a  greater  misfortune  for  the  Church  than  the  Avignon  cap- 
tivity. Anti-popes  the  Church  had  had,  enough  of  them  since 


118  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  days  of  Gregory  VII.,  from  Wibert  of  Ravenna  chosen  by 
the  will  of  Henry  IV.  to  the  feeble  Peter  of  Corbara,  elected 
under  Lewis  the  Bavarian.  Now,  two  lines  of  popes,  each 
elected  by  a  college  of  cardinals,  reigned,  the  one  at  Rome,  the 
other  in  Avignon,  and  both  claiming  to  be  in  the  legitimate 
succession  from  St.  Peter. 

Gregory  XI.  foresaw  the  confusion  that  was  likely  to  follow 
at  his  death,  and  sought  to  provide  against  the  catastrophe  of 
a  disputed  election,  and  probably  also  to  insure  the  choice  of 
a  French  pope,  by  pronouncing  in  advance  an  election  valid,  no 
matter  where  the  conclave  might  be  held.  The  rule  that  the 
conclave  should  convene  in  the  locality  where  the  pontiff  died, 
was  thus  set  aside.  Gregory  knew  well  the  passionate  feeling 
in  Rome  against  the  return  of  the  papacy  to  the  banks  of  the 
Rhone.  A  clash  was  almost  inevitable.  While  the  pope  lay 
a-dying,  the  cardinals  at  several  sittings  attempted  to  agree 
upon  his  successor,  but  failed. 

On  April  7,  1378,  ten  days  after  Gregory's  death,  the  con- 
clave met  in  the  Vatican,  and  the  next  day  elected  the  Nea- 
politan, Bartholomew  Prignano,  archbishop  of  Bari.  Of  the 
sixteen  cardinals  present,  four  were  Italians,  eleven  French- 
men, and  one  Spaniard,  Peter  de  Luna,  who  later  became  fa- 
mous as  Benedict  XIII.  The  French  party  was  weakened  by 
the  absence  of  the  six  cardinals,  left  behind  at  Avignon,  and 
still  another  was  absent.  Of  the  Italians,  two  were  Romans, 
Tebaldeschi,  an  old  man,  and  Giacomo  Orsini,  the  youngest 
member  of  the  college.  The  election  of  an  Italian  not  a  mem- 
ber of  the  curia  was  due  to  factions  which  divided  the  French 
and  to  the  compulsive  attitude  of  the  Roman  populace,  which 
insisted  upon  an  Italian  for  pope. 

The  French  cardinals  were  unable  to  agree  upon  a  candidate 
from  their  own  number.  One  of  the  two  parties  into  which 
they  were  split,  the  Limousin  party,  to  which  Gregory  XI.  and 
his  predecessors  had  belonged,  numbered  six  cardinals.  The 
Italian  mob  outside  the  Vatican  was  as  much  a  factor 
in  the  situation  as  the  divisions  in  the  conclave  itself.  A 
scene  of  wild  and  unrestrained  turbulence  prevailed  in  the 
square  of  St.  Peter's.  The  crowd  pressed  its  way  into  the 


§  13.      THE  SCHISM   BEGUN.       1378.  119 

very  spaces  of  the  Vatican,  and  with  difficulty  a  clearing  was 
made  for  the  entrance  of  all  the  cardinals.  To  prevent  the 
exit  of  the  cardinals,  the  Banderisi,  or  captains  of  the  thir- 
teen districts  into  which  Rome  was  divided,  had  taken  posses- 
sion of  the  city  and  closed  the  gates.  The  mob,  determined  to 
keep  the  papacy  on  the  Tiber,  filled  the  air  with  angry  shouts 
and  threats.  "  We  will  have  a  Roman  for  pope  or  at  least  an 
Italian."  — Romano,  romano,  lo  volemo,  o  almanco  Italiano  was 
the  cry.  On  the  first  night  soldiers  clashed  their  spears  in  the 
room  underneath  the  chamber  where  the  conclave  was  met, 
and  even  thrust  them  through  the  ceiling.  A  fire  of  combus- 
tibles was  lighted  under  the  window.  The  next  morning,  as 
their  excellencies  were  saying  the  mass  of  the  Holy  Spirit  and 
engaged  in  other  devotions,  the  noises  became  louder  and  more 
menacing.  One  cardinal,  d'Aigrefeuille,  whispered  to  Orsini, 
"  better  elect  the  devil  than  die." 

It  was  under  such  circumstances  that  the  archbishop  of  Bari 
was  chosen.  After  the  choice  had  been  made,  and  while  they 
were  waiting  to  get  the  archbishop's  consent,  six  of  the  cardinals 
dined  together  and  seemed  to  be  in  good  spirits.  But  the 
mob's  impatience  to  know  what  had  been  done  would  brook  no 
delay,  and  Orsini,  appearing  at  the  window,  cried  out  "  go  to 
St.  Peter. "  This  was  mistaken  for  an  announcement  that  old 
Tebaldeschi,  cardinal  of  St.  Peter's,  had  been  chosen,  and  a 
rush  was  made  for  the  cardinal's  palace  to  loot  it,  as  the  cus- 
tom was  when  a  cardinal  was  elected  pope.  The  crowd  surged 
through  the  Vatican  and  into  the  room  where  the  cardinals 
had  been  meeting  and,  as  Valois  puts  it,  "  the  pillage  of  the 
conclave  had  begun."  To  pacify  the  mob,  two  of  the  cardi- 
nals, half  beside  themselves  with  fright,  pointed  to  Tebaldeschi, 
set  him  up  on  a  chair,  placed  a  white  mitre  on  his  head,  and 
threw  a  red  cloak  over  his  shoulders.  The  old  man  tried  to 
indicate  that  he  was  not  the  right  person.  But  the  throngs 
continued  to  bend  down  before  him  in  obeisance  for  several 
hours,  till  it  became  known  that  the  successful  candidate  was 
Prignano. 

In  the  meantime  the  rest  of  the  cardinals  forsook  the  build- 
ing and  sought  refuge,  some  within  the  walls  of  St.  Angelo, 


120  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

and  four  by  flight  beyond  the  walls  of  the  city.  The  real  pope 
was  waiting  for  recognition  while  the  members  of  the  elect- 
ing college  were  fled.  But  by  the  next  day  the  cardinals  had 
sufficiently  regained  their  self-possession  to  assemble  again, — 
all  except  the  four  who  had  put  the  city  walls  behind  them,  — 
and  Cardinal  Peter  de  Vergne,  using  the  customary  formula, 
proclaimed  to  the  crowd  through  the  window  :  "  I  announce 
to  you  a  great  joy.  You  have  a  pope,  and  he  calls  himself  Ur- 
ban VI."  The  new  pontiff  was  crowned  on  April  18,  in  front 
of  St.  Peter's,  by  Cardinal  Orsini. 

The  archbishop  had  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  Gregory  XI. 
He  enjoyed  a  reputation  for  austere  morals  and  strict  con- 
formity to  the  rules  of  fasting  and  other  observances  enjoined 
by  the  Church.  He  wore  a  hair  shirt,  and  was  accustomed 
to  retire  with  the  Bible  in  his  hand.  At  the  moment  of  his 
election  no  doubt  was  expressed  as  to  its  validity.  Nieheim, 
who  was  in  the  city  at  the  time,  declared  that  Urban  was 
canonical  pope-elect.  "  This  is  the  truth,"  he  wrote,  "  and 
no  one  can  honestly  deny  it. " l  All  the  cardinals  in  Rome 
yielded  Urban  submission,  and  in  a  letter  dated  May  8  they 
announced  to  the  emperor  and  all  Christians  the  election  and 
coronation.  The  cardinals  at  Avignon  wrote  acknowledging 
him,  and  ordered  the  keys  to  the  castle  of  St.  Angelo  placed 
in  his  hands.  It  is  probable  that  no  one  would  have  thought 
of  denying  Urban's  rights  if  the  pope  had  removed  to  Avi- 
gnon, or  otherwise  yielded  to  the  demands  of  the  French 
members  of  the  curia.  His  failure  to  go  to  France,  Urban 
declared  to  be  the  cause  of  the  opposition  to  him. 

Seldom  has  so  fine  an  opportunity  been  offered  to  do  a 
worthy  thing  and  to  win  a  great  name  as  was  offered  to  Urban 
VI.  It  was  the  opportunity  to  put  an  end  to  the  disturbance 
in  the  Church  by  maintaining  the  residence  of  the  papacy  in 
its  ancient  seat,  and  restoring  to  it  the  dignity  which  it  had 
lost  by  its  long  exile.  Urban,  however,  was  not  equal  to  the 
occasion,  and  made  an  utter  failure.  He  violated  all  the  laws 
of  common  prudence  and  tact.  His  head  seemed  to  be  com- 
pletely turned.  He  estranged  and  insulted  his  cardinals.  He 

i  Brier's  e<L,  p.  16. 


§  13.      THE  SCHISM  BEGUN.      1878.  121 

might  have  made  provision  for  a  body  of  warm  supporters  by 
the  prompt  appointment  of  new  members  to  the  college,  but 
even  this  measure  he  failed  to  take  till  it  was  too  late.  The 
French  king,  it  is  true,  was  bent  upon  having  the  papacy  re- 
turn to  French  soil,  and  controlled  the  French  cardinals.  But 
a  pope  of  ordinary  shrewdness  was  in  position  to  foil  the  king. 
This  quality  Urban  VI.  lacked,  and  the  sacred  college,  stung 
by  his  insults,  came  to  regard  him  as  an  intruder  in  St.  Peter's 
chair. 

In  his  concern  for  right  living,  Urban  early  took  occasion 
in  a  public  allocution  to  reprimand  the  cardinals  for  their 
worldliness  and  for  living  away  from  their  sees.  He  forbade 
their  holding  more  than  a  single  appointment  and  accepting 
gifts  from  princes.  To  their  demand  that  Avignon  continue 
to  be  the  seat  of  the  papacy,  Urban  brusquely  told  them  that 
Rome  and  the  papacy  were  joined  together,  and  he  would  not 
separate  them.  As  the  papacy  belonged  not  to  France  but  to 
the  whole  world,  he  would  distribute  the  promotions  to  the 
sacred  college  among  the  nations. 

Incensed  at  the  attack  made  upon  their  habits  and  per- 
quisites, and  upon  their  national  sympathies,  the  French 
cardinals,  giving  the  heat  of  the  city  as  the  pretext,  removed 
one  by  one  to  Anagni,  while  Urban  took  up  his  summer  resi- 
dence at  Tivoli.  His  Italian  colleagues  followed  him,  but 
they  also  went  over  to  the  French.  No  pope  had  ever  been 
left  more  alone.  Forming  a  compact  body,  the  French  mem- 
bers of  the  curia  demanded  the  pope's  resignation.  The 
Italians,  who  at  first  proposed  the  calling  of  a  council,  ac- 
quiesced. The  French  seceders  then  issued  a  declaration, 
dated  Aug.  2,  in  which  Urban  was  denounced  as  an  apostate, 
and  his  election  declared  void  in  view  of  the  duress  under 
which  it  was  accomplished.1  It  asserted  that  the  cardinals 
at  the  time  were  in  mortal  terror  from  the  Romans.  Now 
that  he  would  not  resign,  they  anathematized  him.  Urban 
replied  in  a  document  called  the  Factum,  insisting  upon  the 
validity  of  his  election.  Retiring  to  Fondi,  in  Neapolitan 
territory,  the  French  cardinals  proceeded  to  a  new  election, 

1  The  document  is  given  by  Hefele,  VI.  730-734. 


122  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

Sept.  20, 1378,  the  choice  falling  upon  one  of  their  number, 
Robert  of  Geneva,  the  son  of  Amadeus,  count  of  Geneva. 
He  was  one  of  those  who,  four  months  before,  had  pointed 
out  Tebaldeschi  to  the  Roman  mob.  The  three  Italian  cardi- 
nals, though  they  did  not  actively  participate  in  the  election, 
offered  no  resistance.  Urban  is  said  to  have  received  the 
news  with  tears,  and  to  have  expressed  regret  for  his  untact- 
f ul  and  self-willed  course.  Perhaps  he  recalled  the  fate  of  his 
fellow-Neapolitan,  Peter  of  Murrhone,  whose  lack  of  worldly 
wisdom  a  hundred  years  before  had  lost  him  the  papal  crown. 
To  establish  himself  on  the  papal  throne,  he  appointed  29 
cardinals.  But  it  was  too  late  to  prevent  the  schism  which 
Gregory  XI.  had  feared  and  a  wise  ruler  would  have  averted. 
Robert  of  Geneva,  at  the  time  of  his  election  3G  years  old, 
came  to  the  papal  honor  with  his  hands  red  from  the  bloody 
massacre  of  Cesena.  He  had  the  reputation  of  being  a  poli- 
tician and  a  fast  liver.  He  was  consecrated  Oct.  31  under 
the  name  of  Clement  VII.  It  was  a  foregone  conclusion 
that  he  would  remove  the  papal  seat  back  to  Avignon. 
He  first  attempted  to  overthrow  Urban  on  his  own  soil, 
but  the  attempt  failed.  Rome  resisted,  and  the  castle  of  St. 
Angelo,  which  was  in  the  hands  of  his  supporters,  he  lost, 
but  not  until  its  venerable  walls  were  demolished,  so  that  at 
a  later  time  the  very  goats  clambered  over  the  stones.  He 
secured  the  support  of  Joanna,  and  Louis  of  Anjou  whom  she 
had  chosen  as  the  heir  of  her  kingdom,  but  the  war  which 
broke  out  between  Urban  and  Naples  fell  out  to  Urban's 
advantage.  The  duke  of  Anjou  was  deposed,  and  Charles 
of  Durazzo,  of  the  royal  house  of  Hungary,  Joanna's  natural 
heir,  appointed  as  his  successor.  Joanna  herself  fell  into 
Charles'  hands  and  was  executed,  1382,  on  the  charge  of 
having  murdered  her  first  husband.  The  duke  of  Brunswick 
was  her  fourth  marital  attempt.  Clement  VII.  bestowed 
upon  the  duke  of  Anjou  parts  of  the  State  of  the  Church 
and  the  high-sounding  but  empty  title  of  duke  of  Adria. 
A  portion  of  Urban's  reward  for  crowning  Charles,  1381, 
was  the  lordship  over  Capria,  Amalfi,  Fondi,  and  other  locali- 
ties, which  he  bestowed  upon  his  unprincipled  and  worthless 


§  13.      THE  SCHISM  BEGUN.      1378.  123 

nephew,  Francis  Prignano.  In  the  war  over  Naples,  the  pope 
had  made  free  use  of  the  treasure  of  the  Roman  churches. 

Clement's  cause  in  Italy  was  lost,  and  there  was  nothing  for 
him  to  do  but  to  fall  back  upon  his  supporter,  Charles  V.  He 
returned  to  France  by  way  of  the  sea  and  Marseilles. 

Thus  the  schism  was  completed,  and  Western  Europe  had 
the  spectacle  of  two  popes  elected  by  the  same  college  of 
cardinals  without  a  dissenting  voice,  and  each  making  full 
claims  to  the  prerogative  of  the  supreme  pontiff  of  the  Chris- 
tian world.  Each  pope  fulminated  the  severest  judgments  of 
heaven  against  the  other.  The  nations  of  Europe  and  its  uni- 
versities were  divided  in  their  allegiance  or,  as  it  was  called, 
their  "obedience."  The  University  of  Paris,  at  first  neutral, 
declared  in  favor  of  Robert  of  Geneva,1  as  did  Savoy,  the 
kingdoms  of  Spain,  Scotland,  and  parts  of  Germany.  Eng- 
land, Sweden,  and  the  larger  part  of  Italy  supported  Urban. 
The  German  emperor,  Charles  IV.,  was  about  to  take  the  same 
side  when  he  died,  Nov.  29, 1378.  Urban  also  had  the  vigorous 
support  of  Catherine  of  Siena.  Hearing  of  the  election  which 
had  taken  place  at  Fondi  she  wrote  to  Urban  :  "  I  have  heard 
that  those  devils  in  human  form  have  resorted  to  an  election. 
They  have  chosen  not  a  vicar  of  Christ,  but  an  anti-christ. 
Never  will  I  cease,  dear  father,  to  look  upon  you  as  Christ's 
true  vicar  on  earth." 

The  papal  schism  which  Pastor  has  called  "the  greatest 
misfortune  that  could  be  thought  of  for  the  Church"2  soon 
began  to  call  forth  indignant  protests  from  the  best  men  of  the 
time.  Western  Christendom  had  never  known  such  a  scan- 
dal. The  seamless  coat  of  Christ  was  rent  in  twain,  and  Solo- 
mon's words  could  no  longer  be  applied,  "  My  dove  is  but 

1  The  full  documentary  accounts  are  given  in  the  Chartularium,  III.  661- 
576.     Valois  gives  a  very  detailed  treatment  of  the  allegiance  rendered  to  the 
two  popes,  especially  in  vol.  II.     Even  in  Sweden  and  Ireland  Clement  had 
some  support,  hut  England,  in  part  owing  to  her  wars  with  France,  gave  un- 
divided submission  to  Urban. 

2  Pastor,  p.  143  sqq.,  quotes  a  German  poem  which  strikingly  sets  forth  the 
evils  of  the  schism,  and  Pastor  himself  says  that  nothing  did  so  much  as  the 
schism  to  prepare  the  way  for  the  defection  from  the  papacy  in  the  sixteenth 
century. 


124  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

one."1  The  divine  claims  of  the  papacy  itself  began  to  be 
matter  of  doubt.  Writers  like  Wyclif  made  demands  upon 
the  pope  to  return  to  Apostolic  simplicity  of  manners  in  sharp 
language  such  as  no  one  had  ever  dared  to  use  before.  Many 
sees  had  two  incumbents ;  abbeys,  two  abbots ;  parishes,  two 
priests.  The  maintenance  of  two  popes  involved  an  increased 
financial  burden,  and  both  papal  courts  added  to  the  old  prac- 
tices new  inventions  to  extract  revenue.  Clement  VII. 's 
agents  went  everywhere,  striving  to  win  support  for  his  obedi- 
ence, and  the  nations,  taking  advantage  of  the  situation,  mag- 
nified their  authority  to  the  detriment  of  the  papal  power. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  popes  of  the  Roman  and 
Avignon  lines,  and  the  Pisan  line  whose  legitimacy  has  now 
no  advocates  in  the  Roman  communion. 

ROMAN  LINE  AVIGNON  LINE 

Urban  VI.,  1378-1389.  Clement  VII.,  1378-1394. 

Boniface  IX.,  1389-1404.  Benedict  XIII.,  1394-1409. 

Innocent  VII.,  1404-1406.  Deposed  at  Pisa,   1409,  and   at 

Gregory  XII.,  1406-1415.  Constance,  1417,  d.  1424. 
Deposed  at  Pisa,  1409.     Resigned 
at  Constance,  1415,  d.  1417. 

PISAN  LINE 

Alexander  V.,  1409-1410. 
John   XXIII.,  1410-1415. 
Martin  V.,  1417-1431. 
Acknowledged  by  the  whole  Latin  Church. 

The  question  of  the  legitimacy  of  Urban  VI. 's  pontificate  is 
still  a  matter  of  warm  dispute.  As  neither  pope  nor  council 
has  given  a  decision  on  the  question,  Catholic  scholars  feel  no 
constraint  in  discussing  it.  French  writers  have  been  inclined 
to  leave  the  matter  open.  This  was  the  case  with  Bossuet, 
Mansi,  Martene,  as  it  is  with  modern  French  writers.  Valois 
hesitatingly,  Salembier  positively,  decides  for  Urban.  Histo- 
rians, not  moved  by  French  sympathies,  pronounce  strongly 
in  favor  of  the  Roman  line,  as  do  Hef  ele,  Funk,  Hergenrother- 
Kirsch,  Denifle,  and  Pastor.  The  formal  recognition  of 
Urban  by  all  the  cardinals  and  their  official  announcement  of 
1  Adam  of  Usk,  p.  218,  and  other  writers. 


§  13.      THE  SCHISM  BEGUN.      1378.  125 

his  election  to  the  princes  would  seem  to  put  the  validity 
of  his  election  beyond  doubt.  On  the  other  hand,  the  decla- 
ratio  sent  forth  by  the  cardinals  nearly  four  months  after 
Urban's  election  affirms  that  the  cardinals  were  in  fear  of 
their  lives  when  they  voted ;  and  according  to  the  theory  of 
the  canon  law,  constraint  invalidates  an  election  as  constraint 
invalidated  Pascal  II. 's  concession  to  Henry  V.  It  was  the 
intention  of  the  cardinals,  as  they  affirm,  to  elect  one  of  their 
number,  till  the  tumult  became  so  violent  and  threatening 
that  to  protect  themselves  they  precipitately  elected  Pri- 
gnano.  They  state  that  the  people  had  even  filled  the  air 
with  the  cry,  "  let  them  be  killed,"  moriantur.  A  panic 
prevailed.  When  the  tumult  abated,  the  cardinals  sat  down 
to  dine,  and  after  dinner  were  about  to  proceed  to  a  re-elec- 
tion, as  they  say,  when  the  tumult  again  became  threatening, 
and  the  doors  of  the  room  where  they  were  sitting  were 
broken  open,  so  that  they  were  forced  to  flee  for  their  lives. 

To  this  testimony  were  added  the  depositions  of  individual 
cardinals  later.  Had  Prignano  proved  complaisant  to  the 
wishes  of  the  French  party,  there  is  no  reason  to  suspect  that 
the  validity  of  his  election  would  ever  have  been  disputed. 
Up  to  the  time  when  the  vote  was  cast  for  Urban,  the  cardi- 
nals seem  not  to  have  been  under  duress  from  fear,  but  to 
have  acted  freely.  After  the  vote  had  been  cast,  they  felt 
their  lives  were  in  danger.1  If  the  cardinals  had  proceeded 
to  a  second  vote,  as  Valois  has  said,  Urban  might  have  been 
elected.  The  constant  communications  which  passed  between 
Charles  V.  and  the  French  party  at  Anagni  show  him  to  have 
been  a  leading  factor  in  the  proceedings  which  followed  and 
the  reconvening  of  the  conclave  which  elected  Robert  of 
Geneva.2 

i  This  is  the  judgment  of  Pastor,  I.  119. 

3  Valois,  1. 144,  devotes  much  space  to  the  part  Charles  took  in  preparing 
the  way  for  the  schism,  and  declares  he  was  responsible  for  the  part  France 
took  in  it  and  in  rejecting  Urban  VI.  Hergenrother  says  all  the  good  he  can 
of  the  Roman  line  and  all  the  evil  he  can  of  the  Avignon  line.  Clement  he  pro- 
nounces a  man  of  elastic  conscience,  and  Benedict  XIII.,  his  successor,  as 
always  ready  in  words  for  the  greatest  sacrifices,  and  farthest  from  them  when 
it  came  to  deeds. 


126  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  same  body  of  cardinals  which  elected 
Urban  deposed  him,  and,  in  their  capacity  as  princes  of  the 
Church,  unanimously  chose  Robert  as  his  successor.  The 
question  of  the  authority  of  the  sacred  college  to  exercise  this 
prerogative  is  still  a  matter  of  doubt.  It  received  the  abdica- 
tion of  Coelestine  V.  and  elected  a  successor  to  him  while  he 
was  still  living.  In  that  case,  however,  the  papal  throne  be- 
came vacant  by  the  supreme  act  of  the  pope  himself. 

§  14.    Further  Progress  of  the  Schism.     1378-1409. 

The  territory  of  Naples  remained  the  chief  theatre  of  the 
conflict  between  the  papal  rivals,  Louis  of  Anjou,  who  had 
the  support  of  Clement  VII.,  continuing  to  assert  his  claim  to 
the  throne.  In  1383  Urban  secretly  left  Rome  for  Naples, 
but  was  there  held  in  virtual  confinement  till  he  had  granted 
Charles  of  Durazzo's  demands.  He  then  retired  to  Noccra, 
which  belonged  to  his  nephew.  The  measures  taken  by  the 
cardinals  at  Anagni  had  taught  him  no  lesson.  His  insane 
severity  and  self-will  continued,  and  brought  him  into  the 
danger  of  losing  the  papal  crown.  Six  of  his  cardinals  en- 
tered into  a  conspiracy  to  dethrone  him,  or  at  least  to  make 
him  subservient  to  the  curia.  The  plot  was  discovered,  and 
Urban  launched  the  interdict  against  Naples,  whose  king  was 
supposed  to  have  been  a  party  to  it.  The  offending  cardinals 
were  imprisoned  in  an  old  cistern,  and  afterwards  subjected 
to  the  torture.1  Forced  to  give  up  the  town  and  to  take 
refuge  in  the  fortress,  the  relentless  pontiff  is  said  to  have 
gone  three  or  four  times  daily  to  the  window,  and,  with  can- 
dles burning  and  to  the  sound  of  a  bell,  to  have  solemnly 
pronounced  the  formula  of  excommunication  against  the  be- 
sieging troops.  Allowed  to  depart,  and  proceeding  with  the 
members  of  his  household  across  the  country,  Urban  reached 
Trani  and  embarked  on  a  Genoese  ship  which  finally  landed 
him  at  Genoa,  1386.  On  the  way,  the  crew  threatened  to 
carry  him  to  Avignon,  and  had  to  be  bought  off  by  the  uu- 

1  Nieheim,  p.  91.  See  also  pp.  103  sq.,  110,  for  the  further  treatment  Of 
the  cardinals,  which  was  worthy  of  Pharaoh. 


§  14.      FURTHER  PROGRESS  OF  THE  SCHISM.  127 

fortunate  pontiff.  Was  ever  a  ruler  in  a  worse  predicament, 
beating  about  on  the  Mediterranean,  than  Urban !  Five  of 
the  cardinals  who  had  been  dragged  along  in  chains  now  met 
with  a  cruel  end.  Adam  Aston,  the  English  cardinal,  Urban 
had  released  at  the  request  of  the  English  king.  But  towards 
the  rest  of  the  alleged  conspirators  he  showed  the  heartless  re- 
lentlessness  of  a  tyrant.  The  chronicler  Nieheim,  who  was 
with  the  pope  at  Naples  and  Nocera,  declares  that  his  heart 
was  harder  than  granite.  Different  rumors  were  afloat  con- 
cerning the  death  the  prelates  were  subjected  to,  one  stating 
they  had  been  thrown  into  the  sea,  another  that  they  had 
their  heads  cut  off  with  an  axe;  another  report  ran  that  their 
bodies  were  buried  in  a  stable  after  being  covered  with  lime 
and  then  burnt. 

In  the  meantime,  two  of  the  prelates  upon  whom  Urban 
had  conferred  the  red  hat,  both  Italians,  went  over  to  Clement 
VII.  and  were  graciously  received. 

Breaking  away  from  Genoa,  Urban  went  by  way  of  Lucca 
to  Perugia,  and  then  with  another  army  started  off  for  Naples. 
Charles  of  Durazzo,  who  had  been  called  to  the  throne  of 
Hungary  and  murdered  in  1386,  was  succeeded  by  his  young 
son  Ladislaus  (1386-1414),  but  his  claim  was  contested  by 
the  heir  of  Louis  of  Anjou  (d.  1384).  The  pontiff  got  no 
farther  than  Ferentino,  and  turning  back  was  carried  in  a 
carriage  to  Rome,  where  he  again  entered  the  Vatican,  a  few 
months  before  his  death,  Oct.  15,  1389. 

Bartholomew  Prignano  had  disappointed  every  expectation. 
He  was  his  own  worst  enemy.  He  was  wholly  lacking  in 
common  prudence  and  the  spirit  of  conciliation.  It  is  to  his 
credit  that,  as  Nieheira  urges,  he  never  made  ecclesiastical 
preferment  the  object  of  sale.  Whatever  were  his  virtues 
before  he  received  the  tiara,  he  had  as  pope  shown  himself 
in  every  instance  utterly  unfit  for  the  responsibilities  of 
a  ruler. 

Clement  VII.,  who  arrived  in  Avignon  in  June,  1879, 
stooped  before  the  kings  of  France,  Charles  V.  (d.  1380)  and 
Charles  VI.  He  was  diplomatic  and  versatile  where  his 
rival  was  impolitic  and  intractable.  He  knew  how  to 


128  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

entertain  at  his  table  with  elegance.1  The  distinguished 
preacher,  Vincent  Ferrer,  gave  him  his  support.  Among  the 
new  cardinals  he  appointed  was  the  young  prince  of  Luxem- 
burg, who  enjoyed  a  great  reputation  for  saintliness.  At  the 
prince's  death,  in  1387,  miracles  were  said  to  be  performed  at 
his  tomb,  a  circumstance  which  seemed  to  favor  the  claims  of 
the  Avignon  pope. 

Clement's  embassy  to  Bohemia  for  a  while  had  hopes  of 
securing  a  favorable  declaration  from  the  Bohemian  king, 
Wenzil,  but  was  disappointed.2  The  national  pride  of  the 
French  was  Clement's  chief  dependence,  and  for  the  king's 
support  he  was  obliged  to  pay  a  humiliating  price  by  grant- 
ing the  royal  demands  to  bestow  ecclesiastical  offices  and  tax 
Church  property.  As  a  means  of  healing  the  schism,  Clement 
proposed  a  general  council,  promising,  in  case  it  decided  in  his 
favor,  to  recognize  Urban  as  leading  cardinal.  The  first 
schismatic  pope  died  suddenly  of  apoplexy,  Sept.  16,  1394, 
having  outlived  Urban  VI.  five  years. 

Boniface  IX.,  who  succeeded  Urban  VI.,  was,  like  him,  a 
Neapolitan,  and  only  thirty -five  at  the  time  of  his  election. 
He  was  a  man  of  fine  presence,  and  understood  the  art  of 
ruling,  but  lacked  the  culture  of  the  schools,  and  could  not 
even  write,  and  was  poor  at  saying  the  services.3  He  had  the 
satisfaction  of  seeing  the  kingdom  of  Naples  yield  to  the 
Roman  obedience.  He  also  secured  from  the  city  of  Rome 
full  submission,  and  the  document,  by  which  it  surrendered  to 
him  its  republican  liberties,  remained  for  centuries  the  foun- 
dation of  the  relations  of  the  municipality  to  the  Apostolic 
See.4  Bologna,  Perugia,  Viterbo,  and  other  towns  of  Italy 
which  had  acknowledged  Clement,  were  brought  into  sub- 
mission to  him,  so  that  before  his  death  the  entire  peninsula 
was  under  his  obedience  except  Genoa,  which  Charles  VI.  had 
reduced.  All  men's  eyes  began  again  to  turn  to  Rome. 

In  1390,  the  Jubilee  Year  which  Urban  VI.  had  appointed 
attracted  streams  of  pilgrims  to  Rome  from  Germany,  Hun- 

i  Nieheim,  p.  124.  «  Valois,  II.  282,  299  sqq. 

*  Nescient  scribere  etiam  male  cantabat,  Nieheim,  p.  130. 

*  Gregoroviua,  VI.  647  sqq. ;  Valois,  II.  162,  166  sqq. 


§  14.       FURTHER   PROGRESS   OF  THE  SCHISM.  129 

gary,  Bohemia,  Poland,  and  England  and  other  lands,  as  did 
also  the  Jubilee  of  1400,  commemorating  the  close  of  one  and 
the  beginning  of  another  century.  If  Rome  profited  by  these 
celebrations,  Boniface  also  made  in  other  ways  the  most  of 
his  opportunity,  and  his  agents  throughout  Christendom  re- 
turned with  the  large  sums  which  they  had  realized  from  the 
sale  of  dispensations  and  indulgences.  Boniface  left  behind 
him  a  reputation  for  avarice  and  freedom  in  the  sale  of  eccle- 
siastical concessions.1  He  was  also  notorious  for  his  nepotism, 
enriching  his  brothers  Andrew  and  John  and  other  relatives 
with  offices  and  wealth.  Such  offences,  however,  the  Romans 
could  easily  overlook  in  view  of  the  growing  regard  through- 
out Europe  for  the  Roman  line  of  popes  and  the  waning  influ- 
ence of  the  Avignon  line. 

The  preponderant  influence  of  Ladislaus  secured  the  elec- 
tion of  still  another  Neapolitan,  Cardinal  Cosimo  dei  Miglio- 
rati,  who  took  the  name  of  Innocent  VII.  He  also  was  only 
thirty-five  years  old  at  the  time  of  his  elevation  to  the  papal 
chair,  a  doctor  of  both  laws  and  expert  in  the  management  of 
affairs.  The  members  of  the  conclave,  before  proceeding  to 
an  election,  signed  a  document  whereby  each  bound  himself, 
if  elected  pope,  to  do  all  in  his  power  to  put  an  end  to  the 
schism.  The  English  chronicler,  Adam  of  Usk,  who  was 
present  at  the  coronation,  concludes  the  graphic  description 
he  gives  of  the  ceremonies2  with  a  lament  over  the  desolate 
condition  of  the  Roman  city.  How  much  is  Rome  to  be 
pitied  I  he  exclaims,  "  for,  once  thronged  with  princes  and 
their  palaces,  she  is  now  a  place  of  hovels,  thieves,  wolves, 
worms,  full  of  desert  spots  and  laid  waste  by  her  own  citizens 
who  rend  each  other  in  pieces.  Once  her  empire  devoured 

1  Erat  insatiabtlis  vorago  et  in  avaricia  nullus  similis  ei,  Nieheim,  p.  119. 
Nieheim,  to  be  sure,  was  disappointed  in  not  receiving  office  under  Boniface,  but 
other  contemporaries  say  the  same  thing.  Adam  of  Usk,  p.  269,  states  that, 
"  though  gorged  with  simony,  Boniface  to  his  dying  day  was  never  filled." 

*  Chronicle,  p.  262  sqq.  This  is  one  of  the  most  full  and  interesting  ac- 
counts extant  of  the  coronation  of  a  mediaeval  pope.  Usk  describes  the  con- 
clave as  well  as  the  coronation,  and  he  mentions  expressly  how,  on  his  way 
from  St.  Peter's  to  the  Lateran,  Innocent  purposely  turned  aside  from  St. 
Clement's,  near  which  stood  the  bust  of  Pope  Joan  and  her  son. 


128  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

entertain  at  his  table  with  elegance.1  The  distinguished 
preacher,  Vincent  Ferrer,  gave  him  his  support.  Among  the 
new  cardinals  he  appointed  was  the  young  prince  of  Luxem- 
burg, who  enjoyed  a  great  reputation  for  saintliness.  At  the 
prince's  death,  in  1387,  miracles  were  said  to  be  performed  at 
his  tomb,  a  circumstance  which  seemed  to  favor  the  claims  of 
the  Avignon  pope. 

Clement's  embassy  to  Bohemia  for  a  while  had  hopes  of 
securing  a  favorable  declaration  from  the  Bohemian  king, 
Wenzil,  but  was  disappointed.2  The  national  pride  of  the 
French  was  Clement's  chief  dependence,  and  for  the  king's 
support  he  was  obliged  to  pay  a  humiliating  price  by  grant- 
ing the  royal  demands  to  bestow  ecclesiastical  offices  and  tax 
Church  property.  As  a  means  of  healing  the  schism,  Clement 
proposed  a  general  council,  promising,  in  case  it  decided  in  his 
favor,  to  recognize  Urban  as  leading  cardinal.  The  first 
schismatic  pope  died  suddenly  of  apoplexy,  Sept.  16,  1394, 
having  outlived  Urban  VI.  five  years. 

Boniface  IX.,  who  succeeded  Urban  VI.,  was,  like  him,  a 
Neapolitan,  and  only  thirty -five  at  the  time  of  his  election. 
He  was  a  man  of  fine  presence,  and  understood  the  art  of 
ruling,  but  lacked  the  culture  of  the  schools,  and  could  not 
even  write,  and  was  poor  at  saying  the  services.8  He  had  the 
satisfaction  of  seeing  the  kingdom  of  Naples  yield  to  the 
Roman  obedience.  He  also  secured  from  the  city  of  Rome 
full  submission,  and  the  document,  by  which  it  surrendered  to 
him  its  republican  liberties,  remained  for  centuries  the  foun- 
dation of  the  relations  of  the  municipality  to  the  Apostolic 
See.4  Bologna,  Perugia,  Viterbo,  and  other  towns  of  Italy 
which  had  acknowledged  Clement,  were  brought  into  sub- 
mission to  him,  so  that  before  his  death  the  entire  peninsula 
was  under  his  obedience  except  Genoa,  which  Charles  VI.  had 
reduced.  All  men's  eyes  began  again  to  turn  to  Rome. 

In  1390,  the  Jubilee  Year  which  Urban  VI.  had  appointed 
attracted  streams  of  pilgrims  to  Rome  from  Germany,  Hun- 

i  Niehelm,  p.  124.  *  Valois,  II.  282,  299  sqq. 

*  Nescient  scribere  etiam  male  cantabat,  Nieheim,  p.  130. 
4  Gregorovius,  VI.  547  sqq. ;  Valois,  II.  162,  166  sqq. 


§  14.      FURTHER   PROGRESS   OF  THE  SCHISM.  129 

gary,  Bohemia,  Poland,  and  England  and  other  lands,  as  did 
also  the  Jubilee  of  1400,  commemorating  the  close  of  one  and 
the  beginning  of  another  century.  If  Rome  profited  by  these 
celebrations,  Boniface  also  made  in  other  ways  the  most  of 
his  opportunity,  and  his  agents  throughout  Christendom  re- 
turned with  the  large  sums  which  they  had  realized  from  the 
sale  of  dispensations  and  indulgences.  Boniface  left  behind 
him  a  reputation  for  avarice  and  freedom  in  the  sale  of  eccle- 
siastical concessions.1  He  was  also  notorious  for  his  nepotism, 
enriching  his  brothers  Andrew  and  John  and  other  relatives 
with  offices  and  wealth.  Such  offences,  however,  the  Romans 
could  easily  overlook  in  view  of  the  growing  regard  through- 
out Europe  for  the  Roman  line  of  popes  and  the  waning  influ- 
ence of  the  Avignon  line. 

The  preponderant  influence  of  Ladislaus  secured  the  elec- 
tion of  still  another  Neapolitan,  Cardinal  Cosimo  dei  Miglio- 
rati,  who  took  the  name  of  Innocent  VII.  He  also  was  only 
thirty-five  years  old  at  the  time  of  his  elevation  to  the  papal 
chair,  a  doctor  of  both  laws  and  expert  in  the  management  of 
affairs.  The  members  of  the  conclave,  before  proceeding  to 
an  election,  signed  a  document  whereby  each  bound  himself, 
if  elected  pope,  to  do  all  in  his  power  to  put  an  end  to  the 
schism.  The  English  chronicler,  Adam  of  Usk,  who  was 
present  at  the  coronation,  concludes  the  graphic  description 
he  gives  of  the  ceremonies2  with  a  lament  over  the  desolate 
condition  of  the  Roman  city.  How  much  is  Rome  to  be 
pitied  I  he  exclaims,  "  for,  once  thronged  with  princes  and 
their  palaces,  she  is  now  a  place  of  hovels,  thieves,  wolves, 
worms,  full  of  desert  spots  and  laid  waste  by  her  own  citizens 
who  rend  each  other  in  pieces.  Once  her  empire  devoured 

1  Erat  insatiabilis  vorago  et  in  avaricia  nullus  similis  ci,  Nieheim,  p.  119. 
Nieheim,  to  be  sure,  was  disappointed  in  not  receiving  office  under  Boniface,  but 
other  contemporaries  say  the  same  thing.  Adam  of  Usk,  p.  259,  states  that, 
"  though  gorged  with  simony,  Boniface  to  his  dying  day  was  never  filled." 

*  Chronicle,  p.  262  sqq.  This  is  one  of  the  most  full  and  interesting  ac- 
counts extant  of  the  coronation  of  a  mediaeval  pope.  Usk  describes  the  con- 
clave as  well  as  the  coronation,  and  he  mentions  expressly  how,  on  his  way 
from  St.  Peter's  to  the  Lateran,  Innocent  purposely  turned  aside  from  St. 
Clement's,  near  which  stood  the  bust  of  Pope  Joan  and  her  don. 


130  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

the  world  with  the  sword,  and  now  her  priesthood  devours  ii 
with  mummery.     Hence  the  lines  — 

" '  The  Roman  bites  at  all,  and  those  he  cannot  bite,  he  hates. 

Of  rich  he  hears  the  call,  but  'gainst  tne  poor  he  shuts  his  gates. M> 

Following  the  example  of  his  two  predecessors,  Innocent 
excommunicated  the  Avignon  anti-pope  and  his  cardinals, 
putting  them  into  the  same  list  with  heretics,  pirates,  and 
brigands.  In  revenge  for  his  nephew's  cold-blooded  slaughter 
of  eleven  of  the  chief  men  of  the  city,  whose  bodies  he  threw 
out  of  a  window,  he  was  driven  from  Rome,  and  after  great 
hardships  he  reached  Viterbo.  But  the  Romans  soon  found 
Innocent's  rule  preferable  to  the  rule  of  Ladislaus,  king  of 
Naples  and  papal  protector,  and  he  was  recalled,  the  nephew 
whose  hands  were  reeking  with  blood  making  public  entry 
into  the  Vatican  with  his  uncle. 

The  last  pope  of  the  Roman  line  was  Gregory  XII.  Angelo 
Correr,  cardinal  of  St.  Marks,  Venice,  elected  1406,  was  sur- 
passed in  tenacity  as  well  as  ability  by  the  last  of  the  Avignon 
popes,  elected  1394,  and  better  known  as  Peter  de  Luna  of 
Aragon,  one  of  the  cardinals  who  joined  in  the  revolt  against 
Urban  VI.  and  in  the  election  of  Clement  VII.  at  Fondi. 

Under  these  two  pontiffs  the  controversy  over  the  schism 
grew  more  and  more  acute  and  the  scandal  more  and  more 
intolerable.  The  nations  of  Western  Europe  were  weary  of 
the  open  and  flagitious  traffic  in  benefices  and  other  ecclesi- 
astical privileges,  the  fulminations  of  one  pope  against  the 
other,  and  the  division  of  sees  and  parishes  between  rival 
claimants.  The  University  of  Paris  took  the  leading  part 
in  agitating  remedial  measures,  and  in  the  end  the  matter  was 
taken  wholly  out  of  the  hands  of  the  two  popes.  The  cardi- 
nals stepped  into  the  foreground  and,  in  the  face  of  all  ca- 
nonical precedent,  took  the  course  which  ultimately  resulted 
in  the  reunion  of  the  Church  under  one  head. 
V  Before  Gregory's  election,  the  Roman  cardinals,  number- 
ing fourteen,  again  entered  into  a  compact  stipulating  that 
the  successful  candidate  should  by  all  means  put  an  end  to 
the  schism,  even,  if  necessary,  by  the  abdication  of  his  office. 


§  14.      FUETHBE  PROGRESS  OF  THE  SCHISM.  181 

Gregory  was  fourscore  at  the  time,  and  the  chief  considera- 
tion which  weighed  in  his  choice  was  that  in  men  arrived  at 
his  age  ambition  usually  runs  low,  and  that  Gregory  would 
be  more  ready  to  deny  himself  for  the  good  of  the  Church 
than  a  younger  man. 

Peter  de  Luna,  one  of  the  most  vigorous  personalities  who 
have  ever  claimed  the  papal  dignity,  had  the  spirit  and  much 
of  the  ability  of  Hildebrand  and  his  namesake,  Gregory  IX. 
But  it  was  his  bad  star  to  be  elected  in  the  Avignon  and  not 
in  the  Roman  succession.  Had  he  been  in  the  Roman  line, 
he  would  probably  have  made  his  mark  among  the  great 
ruling  pontiffs.  His  nationality  also  was  against  him.  The 
French  had  little  heart  in  supporting  a  Spaniard  and,  at 
Clement's  death,  the  relations  between  the  French  king  and 
the  Avignon  pope  at  once  lost  their  cordiality.  Peter  was 
energetic  of  mind  and  in  action,  a  shrewd  observer,  magni- 
fied his  office,  and  never  yielded  an  inch  in  the  matter  of 
papal  prerogative.  Through  the  administrations  of  three 
Roman  pontiffs,  he  held  on  firmly  to  his  office,  outlived  the 
two  Reformatory  councils  of  Pisa  and  Constance,  and  yielded 
not  up  this  mortal  flesh  till  the  close  of  the  first  quarter  of 
the  fifteenth  century,  and  was  still  asserting  his  claims  and 
maintaining  the  dignity  of  pope  at  the  time  of  his  death.  Be- 
fore his  election,  he  likewise  entered  into  a  solemn  com- 
pact with  his  cardinals,  promising  to  bend  every  effort  to 
heal  the  unholy  schism,  even  if  the  price  were  his  own  ab- 
dication. 

The  professions  of  both  popes  were  in  the  right  direction. 
They  were  all  that  could  be  desired,  and  all  that  remained  was 
for  either  of  them  or  for  both  of  them  to  resign  and  make 
free  room  for  a  new  candidate.  The  problem  would  thus 
have  been  easily  settled,  and  succeeding  generations  might 
have  canonized  both  pontiffs  for  their  voluntary  self-abnega- 
tion. But  it  took  ten  years  to  bring  Gregory  to  this  state  of 
mind,  and  then  almost  the  last  vestige  of  power  had  been 
taken  from  him.  Peter  de  Luna  never  yielded. 

Undoubtedly,  at  the  time  of  the  election  of  Gregory  XII., 
the  papacy  was  passing  through  one  of  the  grave  crises  in  its 


132  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D,    1294-1517. 

history.  There  were  not  wanting  men  who  said,  like  Langen- 
stein,  vice-chancellor  of  the  University  of  Paris,  that  perhaps 
it  was  God's  purpose  that  there  should  be  two  popes  indefi- 
nitely, even  as  David's  kingdom  was  divided  under  two 
sovereigns.1  Yea,  and  there  were  men  who  argued  publicly 
that  it  made  little  difference  how  many  there  were,  two  or 
three,  or  ten  or  twelve,  or  as  many  as  there  were  nations.2 

At  his  first  consistory  Gregory  made  a  good  beginning, 
when  he  asserted  that,  for  the  sake  of  the  good  cause  of 
securing  a  united  Christendom,  he  was  willing  to  travel  by 
land  or  by  sea,  by  land,  if  necessary,  with  a  pilgrim's  staff, 
by  sea  in  a  fishing  smack,  in  order  to  come  to  an  agreement 
with  Benedict.  He  wrote  to  his  rival  on  the  Rhone,  de- 
claring that,  like  the  woman  who  was  ready  to  renounce 
her  child  rather  than  see  it  cut  asunder,  so  each  of  them 
should  be  willing  to  cede  his  authority  rather  than  be  re- 
sponsible for  the  continuance  of  the  schism.  He  laid  his 
hand  on  the  New  Testament  and  quoted  the  words  that 
"he  who  exalteth  himself  shall  be  abased,  and  he  that 
humbleth  himself  shall  be  exalted."  He  promised  to 
abdicate,  if  Benedict  would  do  the  same,  that  the  cardinals 
of  both  lines  might  unite  together  in  a  new  election ;  and  he 
further  promised  not  to  add  to  the  number  of  his  cardinals, 
except  to  keep  the  number  equal  to  the  number  of  the 
Avignon  college. 

Benedict's  reply  was  shrewd,  if  not  equally  demonstrative. 
He,  too,  lamented  the  schism,  which  he  pronounced  detestable, 
wretched,  and  dreadful,8  but  gently  setting  aside  Gregory's 
blunt  proposal,  suggested  as  the  best  resort  the  via  discussionis, 
or  the  path  of  discussion,  and  that  the  cardinals  of  both  lines 
should  meet  together,  talk  the  matter  over,  and  see  what 
should  be  done,  and  then,  if  necessary,  one  or  both  popes 
might  abdicate.  Both  popes  in  their  communications  called 

*  Da  Pin,  II.  821. 

1  Letter  of  the  Univ.  of  Paris  to  Clement  VII.,  dated  July  17, 1804.  Chartul. 
III.  638,  nihil  omnino  curandum  quotpapae  tint,  et  non  modo  duos  aut  tres, 
sed  decem  aut  duodecim  immo  et  singulis  reynis  singulos  prtjfci  poMe,  etc. 

*Hac  execranda  et  detestanda,  diraque  divisio,  Nieheim,  pp.  '200-213, 
gives  both  letters  entire. 


§  14.      PUBTHEB  PBOGBESS   OP   THE  SCHISM.  133 

themselves  "servant  of  the  servants  of  God."  Gregory  ad- 
dressed Benedict  as  "  Peter  de  Luna,  whom  some  peoples  in 
this  wretched — miserabili  —  schism  call  Benedict  XIII. "; 
and  Benedict  addressed  the  pope  on  the  Tiber  as  "  Angelus 
Correr,  whom  some,  adhering  to  him  in  this  most  destructive 
— pernicioso  —  schism,  call  Gregory  XII."  "  We  are  both  old 
men,"  wrote  Benedict.  "  Time  is  short ;  hasten,  and  do  not 
delay  in  this  good  cause.  Let  us  both  embrace  the  ways  of 
salvation  and  peace." 

Nothing  could  have  been  finer,  but  it  was  quickly  felt  that 
while  both  popes  expressed  themselves  as  ready  to  abdicate, 
positive  as  the  professions  of  both  were,  each  wanted  to  have 
the  advantage  when  the  time  came  for  the  election  of  the 
new  pontiff  to  rule  over  the  reunited  Church . 

As  early  as  1381,  the  University  of  Paris  appealed  to  the 
king  of  France  to  insist  upon  the  calling  of  a  general  council 
as  the  way  to  terminate  the  schism.  But  the  duke  of  Anjou 
had  the  spokesman  of  the  university,  Jean  Ronce,  imprisoned, 
and  the  university  was  commanded  to  keep  silence  on  the 
subject. 

Prior  to  this  appeal,  two  individuals  had  suggested  the 
same  idea,  Konrad  of  Gelnhausen,  and  Henry  of  Langenstein, 
otherwise  known  as  Henry  of  Hassia.  Konrad,  who  wrote 
in  1380,1  and  whose  views  led  straight  on  to  the  theory  of 
the  supreme  authority  of  councils,2  affirmed  that  there  were 
two  heads  of  the  Church,  and  that  Christ  never  fails  it,  even 
though  the  earthly  head  may  fail  by  death  or  error.  The 
Church  is  not  the  pope  and  the  cardinals,  but  the  body  of 
the  faithful,  and  this  body  gets  its  inner  life  directly  from 
Christ,  and  is  so  far  infallible.  In  this  way  he  answers  those 
who  were  forever  declaring  that  in  the  absence  of  the  pope's 
call  there  would  be  no  council,  even  if  all  the  prelates  were 
assembled,  but  only  a  conventicle. 

In  more  emphatic  terms,  Henry  of  Langenstein,  in  1381, 
justified  the  calling  of  a  council  without  the  pope's  interven- 

1  Gelnhausen's  tract,  De  congregando  concilio  in  temporc  schtematis,  in 
Martene-Durand,  Thesaurus  nov.  anecd.,  II.  1200-1226. 
a  So  Pastor,  I.  185.    See  also,  Schwab,  Geraon,  p.  124  sqq. 


134  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

tion.1  The  institution  of  the  papacy  by  Christ,  he  declared, 
did  not  involve  the  idea  that  the  action  of  the  pope  was 
always  necessary,  either  in  originating  or  consenting  to  legis- 
lation. The  Church  might  have  instituted  the  papacy,  even 
had  Christ  not  appointed  it.  If  the  cardinals  should  elect  a 
pontiff  not  agreeable  to  the  Church,  the  Church  might  set 
their  choice  aside.  The  validity  of  a  council  did  not  depend 
upon  the  summons  or  the  ratification  of  a  pope.  Secular 
princes  might  call  such  a  synod.  A  general  council,  as  the 
representative  of  the  entire  Church,  is  above  the  cardinals, 
yea,  above  the  pope  himself.  Such  a  council  cannot  err,  but 
the  cardinals  and  the  pope  may  err. 

The  views  of  Langenstein,  vice-chancellor  of  the  University 
of  Paris,  represented  the  views  of  the  faculties  of  that  insti- 
tution. They  were  afterwards  advocated  by  John  Gerson, 
one  of  the  most  influential  men  of  his  century,  and  one  of 
the  most  honored  of  all  the  centuries.  Among  those  who 
took  the  opposite  view  was  the  English  Dominican  and  con- 
fessor of  Benedict  XIII. ,  John  Hayton.  The  University  of 
Paris  he  called  "a  daughter  of  Satan,  mother  of  error, 
sower  of  sedition,  and  the  pope's  detainer,"  and  declared  the 
pope  was  to  be  forced  by  no  human  tribunal,  but  to  follow 
God  and  his  own  conscience. 

In  1394,  the  University  of  Paris  proposed  three  methods 
of  healing  the  schism3  which  became  the  platform  over  which 
the  issue  was  afterwards  discussed,  namely,  the  via  cessionis^ 
or  the  abdication  of  both  popes,  the  via  compromissi,  an  adju- 
dication of  the  claims  of  both  by  a  commission,  and  the  via 
synodi^  or  the  convention  of  a  general  council  to  which  the 
settlement  of  the  whole  matter  should  be  left.  No  act  in 
the  whole  history  of  this  famous  literary  institution  has  given 
it  wider  fame  than  this  proposal,  coupled  with  the  activity  it 
displayed  to  bring  the  schism  to  a  close.  The  method  pre- 
ferred by  its  faculties  was  the  first,  the  abdication  of  both 
popes,  which  it  regarded  as  the  simplest  remedy.  It  was 

1  Consilium  pacis  de  wiione  et  reformation*  ecclesias  in  concilia  univer- 
sali  quarenda,  Van  der  Hardt,  II.  3-60,  and  Du  Pin,  Opp.  Gerson,  II.  810 
sqq.  «  (Jhartul.  III.  p.  608  sqq. 


§  14.      FURTHER  PROGRESS  OP  THE  SCHISM.  135 

suggested  that  the  new  election,  after  the  popes  had  abdicated, 
should  be  consummated  by  the  cardinals  in  office  at  the  time 
of  Gregory  XL's  decease,  1378,  and  still  surviving,  or  by  a 
union  of  the  cardinals  of  both  obediences. 

The  last  method,  settlement  by  a  general  council,  which 
the  university  regarded  as  offering  the  most  difficulty,  it 
justified  on  the  ground  that  the  pope  is  subject  to  the  Church 
as  Christ  was  subject  to  his  mother  and  Joseph.  The  au- 
thority of  such  a  council  lay  in  its  constitution  according  to 
Christ's  words,  "  where  two  or  three  are  gathered  together 
in  my  name,  there  am  I  in  the  midst  of  them."  Its  member- 
ship should  consist  of  doctors  of  theology  and  the  laws  taken 
from  the  older  universities,  and  deputies  of  the  orders,  as  well 
as  bishops,  many  of  whom  were  uneducated,  —  illiterati.1 

Clement  VII.  showed  his  displeasure  with  the  university 
by  forbidding  its  further  intermeddling,  and  by  condemning 
his  cardinals  who,  without  his  permission,  had  met  and  rec- 
ommended him  to  adopt  one  of  the  three  ways.  At  Clem- 
ent's death  the  king  of  France  called  upon  the  Avignon  col- 
lege to  postpone  the  election  of  a  successor,  but,  surmising 
the  contents  of  the  letter,  they  prudently  left  it  unopened 
until  they  had  chosen  Benedict  XIII.  Benedict  at  once 
manifested  the  warmest  zeal  in  the  healing  of  the  schism, 
and  elaborated  his  plan  for  meeting  with  Boniface  IX.,  and 
coining  to  some  agreement  with  him.  These  friendly  propo- 
sitions were  offset  by  a  summons  from  the  king's  delegates, 
calling  upon  the  two  pontiffs  to  abdicate,  and  all  but  two  of 
the  Avignon  cardinals  favored  the  measure.  But  Benedict 
declared  that  such  a  course  would  seem  to  imply  constraint, 
and  issued  a  bull  against  it. 

The  two  parties  continued  to  express  deep  concern  for  the 
healing  of  the  schism,  but  neither  would  yield.  Benedict 
gained  the  support  of  the  University  of  Toulouse,  and  strength- 
ened himself  by  the  promotion  of  Peter  d'Ailly,  chancellor 
of  the  University  of  Paris,  to  the  episcopate.  The  famous  in- 
quisitor, Nicolas  Eymericus,  also  one  of  his  cardinals,  was  a 
firm  advocate  of  Benedict's  divine  claims.  The  difficulties 

1  ChartuL,  I.  620. 


136  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

were  increased  by  the  wavering  course  of  Charles  VI.,  1380- 
1412,  a  man  of  feeble  mind,  and  twice  afflicted  with  insanity, 
whose  brothers  and  uncles  divided  the  rule  of  the  kingdom 
amongst  themselves.  French  councils  attempted  to  decide 
upon  a  course  for  the  nation  to  pursue,  and  a  third  council, 
meeting  in  Paris,  1398,  and  consisting  of  11  archbishops  and 
60  bishops,  all  theretofore  supporters  of  the  Avignon  pope,  de- 
cided upon  the  so-called  subtraction  of  obedience  from  Bene- 
dict. In  spite  of  these  discouragements,  Benedict  continued 
loyal  to  himself.  He  was  forsaken  by  his  cardinals  and  be- 
sieged by  French  troops  in  his  palace  and  wounded.  The 
spectacle  of  his  isolation  touched  the  heart  and  conscience  of 
the  French  people,  and  the  decree  ordering  the  subtraction 
of  obedience  was  annulled  by  the  national  parliament  of  1403, 
which  professed  allegiance  anew,  and  received  from  him  full 
absolution. 

When  Gregory  XII.  was  elected  in  1406,  the  controversy 
over  the  schism  was  at  white  heat.  England,  Castile,  and 
the  German  king,  Wenzil,  had  agreed  to  unite  with  France  in 
bringing  it  to  an  end.  Pushed  by  the  universal  clamor,  by  the 
agitation  of  the  University  of  Paris,  and  especially  by  the  feel- 
ing which  prevailed  in  France,  Gregory  and  Benedict  saw  that 
the  situation  was  in  danger  of  being  controlled  by  other  hands 
than  their  own,  and  agreed  to  meet  at  Savona  on  the  Gulf  of 
Genoa  to  discuss  their  differences.  In  October,  1407,  Bene- 
dict, attended  by  a  military  guard,  went  as  far  as  Porto 
Venere  and  Savona.  Gregory  got  as  far  as  Lucca,  when  he  de- 
clined to  go  farther,  on  the  plea  that  Savona  was  in  territory 
controlled  by  the  French  and  on  other  pretexts.  Nieheim  rep- 
resents the  Roman  pontiff  as  dissimulating  during  the  whole 
course  of  the  proceedings  and  as  completely  under  the  influ- 
ence of  his  nephews  and  other  favorites,  who  imposed  upon  the 
weakness  of  the  old  man,  and  by  his  doting  generosity  were 
enabled  to  live  in  luxury.  At  Lucca  they  spent  their  time 
in  dancing  and  merry-making.  This  writer  goes  on  to  say 
that  Gregory  put  every  obstacle  in  the  way  of  union.1  He  is 

1  Nieheim,  pp.  237,  242,  274,  etc.,  manifeate  impedire  modis  omnibus  conar 
bantur. 


§  14.      FURTHER  PROGRESS  OF  THE  SCHISM.  137 

represented  by  another  writer  as  having  spent  more  in  bonbons 
than  his  predecessors  did  for  their  wardrobes  and  tables,  and 
as  being  only  a  shadow  with  bones  and  skin.1 

Benedict's  support  was  much  weakened  by  the  death  of 
the  king's  brother,  the  duke  of  Orleans,  who  had  been  his 
constant  supporter.  France  threatened  neutrality,  and  Bene- 
dict, fearing  seizure  by  the  French  commander  at  Genoa,  beat 
a  retreat  to  Perpignan,  a  fortress  at  the  foot  of  the  Pyrenees, 
six  miles  from  the  Mediterranean.  In  May  of  the  same  year 
France  again  decreed  "  subtraction,"  and  a  national  French 
assembly  in  1408  approved  the  calling  of  a  council.  The  last 
stages  of  the  contest  were  approaching. 

Seven  of  Gregory's  cardinals  broke  away  from  him,  and, 
leaving  him  at  Lucca,  went  to  Pisa,  where  they  issued  a  mani- 
festo appealing  from  a  poorly  informed  pope  to  a  better 
informed  one,  from  Christ's  vicar  to  Christ  himself,  and  to  the 
decision  of  a  general  council.  Two  more  followed.  Gregory 
further  injured  his  cause  by  breaking  his  solemn  engagement 
and  appointing  four  cardinals,  May,  1408,  two  of  them  his 
nephews,  and  a  few  months  later  he  added  ten  more.  Cardi- 
nals of  the  Avignon  obedience  joined  the  Roman  cardinals 
at  Pisa  and  brought  the  number  up  to  thirteen.  Retiring  to 
Livorno  on  the  beautiful  Italian  lake  of  that  name,  and  acting 
as  if  the  popes  were  deposed,  they  as  rulers  of  the  Church 
appointed  a  general  council  to  meet  at  Pisa,  March  25,  1409. 

As  an  offset,  Gregory  summoned  a  council  of  his  own  to 
meet  in  the  territory  either  of  Ravenna  or  Aquileja.  Many 
of  his  closest  followers  had  forsaken  him,  and  even  his  native 
city  of  Venice  withdrew  from  him  its  support.  In  the  mean- 
time Ladislaus  had  entered  Rome  and  been  hailed  as  king. 
It  is,  however,  probable  that  this  was  with  the  consent  of 
Gregory  himself,  who  hoped  thereby  to  gain  sympathy  for 
his  cause.  Benedict  also  exercised  his  sovereign  power  as 
pontiff  and  summoned  a  council  to  meet  at  Perpignan, 
Nov.  1,  1408. 

The  word  "  council,"  now  that  the  bold  initiative  was  taken, 
was  hailed  as  pregnant  with  the  promise  of  sure  relief  from 
1  Vita,  Muratori,  III.,  II.,  838,  solum  sptritus  cum  ostribus  etpelle. 


188  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

the  disgrace  and  confusion  into  which  Western  Christendom 
had  been  thrown  and  of  a  reunion  of  the  Church. 


§  15.    The  Council  of  Pisa. 

The  three  councils  of  Pisa,  1409,  Constance,  1414,  and 
Basel,  1431,  of  which  the  schism  was  the  occasion,  are  known 
in  history  as  the  Reformatory  councils.  Of  the  tasks  they 
set  out  to  accomplish,  the  healing  of  the  schism  and  the  insti- 
tution of  disciplinary  reforms  in  the  Church,  the  first  they  ac- 
complished, but  with  the  second  they  made  little  progress. 
They  represent  the  final  authority  of  general  councils  in  the 
affairs  of  the  Church —  a  view,  called  the  conciliary  theory — 
in  distinction  from  the  supreme  authority  of  the  papacy. 

The  Pisan  synod  marks  an  epoch  in  the  history  of  Western 
Christendom  not  so  much  on  account  of  what  it  actually  ac- 
complished as  because  it  was  the  first  revolt  in  council  against 
the  theory  of  papal  absolutism  which  had  been  accepted  for 
centuries.  It  followed  the  ideas  of  Gerson  and  Langenstein, 
namely,  that  the  Church  is  the  Church  even  without  the 
presence  of  a  pope,  and  that  an  oecumenical  council  is  legiti- 
mate which  meets  not  only  in  the  absence  of  his  assent  but 
in  the  face  of  his  protest.  Representing  intellectually  the 
weight  of  the  Latin  world  and  the  larger  part  of  its  constit- 
uency, the  assembly  was  a  momentous  event  leading  in  the 
opposite  direction  from  the  path  laid  out  by  Hildebrand, 
Innocent  III.,  and  their  successors.  It  was  a  mighty  blow 
at  the  old  system  of  Church  government. 

While  Gregory  XII.  was  tarrying  at  Rimini,  as  a  refugee, 
under  the  protection  of  Charles  Malatesta,  and  Benedict  XIII. 
was  confined  to  the  seclusion  of  Perpignan,  the  synod  was 
opened  on  the  appointed  day  in  the  cathedral  of  Pisa.  There 
was  an  imposing  attendance  of  14  cardinals,  —  the  number 
being  afterwards  increased  to  24,  —  4  patriarchs,  10  arch- 
bishops, 79  bishops  and  representatives  of  116  other  bishops, 
128  abbots  and  priors  and  the  representatives  of  200  other 
abbots.  To  these  prelates  were  added  the  generals  of  the 
Dominican,  Franciscan,  Carmelite,  and  Augustinian  orders, 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  PISA.  139 

the  grand-master  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John,  who  was  ac- 
companied by  6  commanders,  the  general  of  the  Teutonic 
order,  300  doctors  of  theology  and  the  canon  law,  109  rep- 
resentatives of  cathedral  and  collegiate  chapters,  and  the 
deputies  of  many  princes,  including  the  king  of  the  Romans, 
Wenzil,  and  the  kings  of  England,  France,  Poland,  and 
Cyprus.  A  new  and  significant  feature  was  the  repre- 
sentation of  the  universities  of  learning,  including  Paris,1 
Bologna,  Oxford  and  Cambridge,  Montpellier,  Toulouse, 
Angers,  Vienna,  Cracow,  Prag,  and  Cologne.  Among  the 
most  important  personages  was  Peter  d'Ailly,  though  there 
is  no  indication  in  the  acts  of  the  council  that  he  took  a 
prominent  public  part.  John  Gerson  seems  not  to  have 
been  present. 

The  second  day,  the  archbishop  of  Milan,  Philargi,  himself 
soon  to  be  elected  pope,  preached  from  Judg.  20 :  7 :  "  Be- 
hold ye  are  all  children  of  Israel.  Give  here  your  advice 
and  counsel,"  and  stated  the  reasons  which  had  led  to  the 
summoning  of  the  council.  Guy  de  Maillesec,  the  only  car- 
dinal surviving  from  the  days  prior  to  the  schism,  presided 
over  the  first  sessions.  His  place  was  then  filled  by  the 
patriarch  of  Alexandria,  till  the  new  pope  was  chosen. 

One  of  the  first  deliverances  was  a  solemn  profession  of  the 
Holy  Trinity  and  the  Catholic  faith,  and  that  every  heretic 
and  schismatic  will  share  with  the  devil  and  his  angels  the 
burnings  of  eternal  fire  unless  before  the  end  of  this  life  he 
make  his  peace  with  the  Catholic  Church.2 

The  business  which  took  precedence  of  all  other  was  the 
healing  of  the  schism,  the  causa  unionis,  as  it  was  called,  and 
disposition  was  first  made  of  the  rival  popes.  A  formal  trial 
was  instituted,  which  was  opened  by  two  cardinals  and  two 
archbishops  proceeding  to  the  door  of  the  cathedral  and  sol- 
emnly calling  Gregory  and  Benedict  by  name  and  summoning 
them  to  appear  and  answer  for  themselves.  The  formality 

1  Schwab,  p.  228  sq..  The  address  which  Gereon  is  said  to  have  delivered 
and  which  Mansi  includes  in  the  acts  of  the  council  was  a  rhetorical  com- 
position and  never  delivered  at  Pisa.  Schwab,  p.  243. 

a  Mansi,  XXVII.  368. 


140  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

was  gone  through  three  times,  on  three  successive  days,  and 
the  offenders  were  given  till  April  15  to  appear. 

By  a  series  of  declarations  the  synod  then  justified  its  exist- 
ence, and  at  the  eighth  session  declared  itself  to  be  "  a  general 
council  representing  the  whole  universal  Catholic  Church  and 
lawfully  and  reasonably  called  together."  1  It  thought  along 
the  lines  marked  out  by  D'Ailly  and  Gerson  and  the  other 
writers  who  had  pronounced  the  unity  of  the  Church  to  con- 
sist in  oneness  with  her  divine  Head  and  declared  that  the 
Church,  by  virtue  of  the  power  residing  in  herself,  has  the 
right,  in  response  to  a  divine  call,  to  summon  a  council. 
The  primitive  Church  had  called  synods,  and  James,  not 
Peter,  had  presided  at  Jerusalem. 

D'Ailly,  in  making  definite  announcement  of  his  views  at 
a  synod,  meeting  at  Aix,  Jan.  1,  1409,  had  said  that  the 
Church's  unity  depends  upon  the  unity  of  her  head,  Christ. 
"  Christ's  mystical  body  gets  its  authority  from  its  divine  head 
to  meet  in  a  general  council  through  representatives,  for  it 
is  written,  "  where  two  or  three  are  gathered  together  in  my 
name,  there  am  I  in  the  midst  of  them."  The  words  are  not 
"in  Peter's  name,"  or  "in  Paul's  name,"  but  "in  my  name." 
And  when  the  faithful  assemble  to  secure  the  welfare  of  the 
Church,  there  Christ  is  in  their  midst. 

Gerson  wrote  his  most  famous  tract  bearing  on  the  schism 
and  the  Church's  right  to  remove  a  pope  —  De  auferililitate 
papcB  db  ecclesia — while  the  council  of  Pisa  was  in  session.2  In 
this  elaborate  treatment  he  said  that,  in  the  strict  sense,  Christ 
is  the  Church's  only  bridegroom.  The  marriage  between  the 
pope  and  the  Church  may  be  dissolved,  for  such  a  spiritual 
marriage  is  not  a  sacrament.  The  pope  may  choose  to  separate 
himself  from  the  Church  and  resign.  The  Church  has  a  simi- 
lar right  to  separate  itself  from  the  pope  by  removing  him. 
All  Church  officers  are  appointed  for  the  Church's  welfare  and, 
when  the  pope  impedes  its  welfare,  it  may  remove  him.  It  is 
bound  to  defend  itself.  This  it  may  do  through  a  general 
council,  meeting  by  general  consent  and  without  papal  ap- 
pointment. Such  a  council  depends  immediately  upon  Christ 

1  Manfli,  XXVII.  866.  *  See  Schwab,  p.  260  sqq. 


§  15.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  PISA.  141 

for  its  authority.  The  pope  may  be  deposed  for  heresy  or 
schism.  He  might  be  deposed  even  where  he  had  no  personal 
guilt,  as  in  case  he  should  be  taken  prisoner  by  the  Saracens, 
and  witnesses  should  testify  he  was  dead.  Another  pope 
would  then  be  chosen  and,  if  the  reports  of  the  death  of  the 
former  pope  were  proved  false,  and  he  be  released  from  cap- 
tivity, he  or  the  other  pope  would  have  to  be  removed,  for  the 
Church  cannot  have  more  than  one  pontiff. 

Immediately  after  Easter,  Charles  Malatesta  appeared  in 
the  council  to  advocate  Gregory's  cause.  A  commission,  ap- 
pointed by  the  cardinals,  presented  forty  reasons  to  show  that 
an  agreement  between  the  synod  and  the  Roman  pontiff  was 
out  of  the  question.  Gregory  must  either  appear  at  Pisa  in 
person  and  abdicate,  or  present  his  resignation  to  a  commis- 
sion which  the  synod  would  appoint  and  send  to  Rimini. 

Gregory's  case  was  also  represented  by  the  rival  king  of  the 
Romans,  Ruprecht,1  through  a  special  embassy  made  up  of  the 
archbishop  of  Riga,  the  bishops  of  Worms  and  Verden,  and 
other  commissioners.  It  presented  twenty-four  reasons  for 
denying  the  council's  jurisdiction.  The  paper  was  read  by 
the  bishop  of  Verden  at  the  close  of  a  sermon  preached  to  the 
assembled  councillors  on  the  admirable  text,  "  Peace  be  unto 
you."  The  most  catching  of  the  reasons  was  that,  if  the 
cardinals  questioned  the  legitimacy  of  Gregory's  pontifi- 
cate, what  ground  had  they  for  not  questioning  the  valid- 
ity of  their  own  authority,  appointed  as  they  had  been  by 
Gregory  or  Benedict. 

In  a  document  of  thirty-eight  articles,  read  April  24,  the 
council  presented  detailed  specifications  against  the  two 
popes,  charging  them  both  with  having  made  and  broken 
solemn  promises  to  resign. 

The  argument  was  conducted  by  Peter  de  Anchorano,  pro- 
fessor of  both  laws  in  Bologna,  and  by  others.  Peter  argued 
that,  by  fostering  the  schism,  Gregory  and  his  rival  had  for- 
feited jurisdiction,  and  the  duty  of  calling  a  representative 
council  of  Christendom  devolved  on  the  college  of  cardinals. 

1  The  electors  deposed  Wenzil  in  1400  for  incompetency,  and  elected  Ru- 
precht of  the  Palatinate. 


142  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

In  certain  cases  the  cardinals  are  left  no  option  whether  they 
shall  act  or  not,  as  when  a  pope  is  insane  or  falls  into  heresy 
or  refuses  to  summon  a  council  at  a  time  when  orthodox  doc- 
trine is  at  stake.  The  temporal  power  has  the  right  to  expel 
a  pope  who  acts  illegally. 

In  an  address  on  Hosea  1 :  11,  "  and  the  children  of  Judah 
and  the  children  of  Israel  shall  be  gathered  together  and  shall 
appoint  themselves  one  head,"  Peter  Plaoul,  of  the  University 
of  Paris,  clearly  placed  the  council  above  the  pope,  an  opinion 
which  had  the  support  of  his  own  university  as  well  as  the  sup- 
port of  the  universities  of  Toulouse,  Angers,  and  Orleans, 
The  learned  canonist,  Zabarella,  afterwards  appointed  car- 
dinal, took  the  same  ground. 

The  trial  was  carried  on  with  all  decorum  and,  at  the  end 
of  two  months,  on  June  5,  sentence  was  pronounced,  declaring 
both  popes  "  notorious  schismatics,  promoters  of  schism,  and 
notorious  heretics,  errant  from  the  faith,  and  guilty  of  the  no- 
torious and  enormous  crimes  of  perjury  and  violated  oaths."  l 

Deputies  arriving  from  Perpignan  a  week  later,  June  14, 
were  hooted  by  the  council  when  the  archbishop  of  Tarragona, 
one  of  their  number,  declared  them  to  be  "  the  representa- 
tives of  the  venerable  pope,  Benedict  XIII."  Benedict  had 
a  short  time  before  shown  his  defiance  of  the  Pisan  fathers  by 
adding  twelve  members  to  his  cabinet.  When  the  deputies 
announced  their  intention  of  waiting  upon  Gregory,  and 
asked  for  a  letter  of  safe  conduct,  Balthazar  Cossa,  afterwards 
John  XXIII.,  the  master  of  Bologna,  is  said  to  have  declared, 
44  Whether  they  come  with  a  letter  or  without  it,  he  would 
burn  them  all  if  he  could  lay  his  hands  upon  them." 

The  rival  popes  being  disposed  of,  it  remained  for  the  coun- 
cil to  proceed  to  a  new  election,  and  it  was  agreed  to  leave  the 
matter  to  the  cardinals,  who  met  in  the  archiepiscopal  palace 
of  Pisa,  June  26,  and  chose  the  archbishop  of  Milan,  Philargi, 
who  took  the  name  of  Alexander  V.  He  was  about  seventy, 

1  JEforum  utrumgue  fuisse  et  esse  notorios  schismaticos  et  antiqut  schismatis 
nutritores  .  .  .  necnon  notorios  hasreticos  et  a  fide  devios,  notoriUque  crimi- 
nibu$  enormibus  perjurii*  et  violations  voti  irretitos,  etc.,  Mansi,  XXVI. 
1147,  1225  sq.  Hefele,  VI.  1025  sq.,  also  gives  the  judgment  in  full. 


§  15.      THE  COUNCIL  OF   PISA.  143 

a  member  of  the  Franciscan  order,  and  had  received  the  red 
hat  from  Innocent  VII.  He  was  a  Cretan  by  birth,  and  the  first 
Greek  to  wear  the  tiara  since  John  VI  I. ,  in  705.  He  had  never 
known  his  father  or  mother  and,  rescued  from  poverty  by  the 
Minorites,  he  was  taken  to  Italy  to  be  educated,  and  later  sent 
to  Oxford.  After  his  election  as  pope,  he  is  reported  to  have 
said,  "  as  a  bishop  I  was  rich,  as  a  cardinal  poor,  and  as  pope 
I  am  a  beggar  again." l 

In  the  meantime  Gregory's  side  council  at  Cividale,  near 
Aquileja,  was  running  its  course.  There  was  scarcely  an  at- 
tendant at  the  first  session.  Later,  Ruprecht  and  king  Lad- 
islaus  were  represented  by  deputies.  The  assumption  of  the 
body  was  out  of  all  proportion  to  its  size.  It  pronounced  the 
pontiffs  of  the  Roman  line  the  legitimate  rulers  of  Christen- 
dom, and  appointed  nuncios  to  all  the  kingdoms.  However, 
not  unmindful  of  his  former  professions,  Gregory  anew  ex- 
pressed his  readiness  to  resign  if  his  rivals,  Peter  of  Luna  and 
Peter  of  Candia  (Crete),  would  do  the  same.  Venice  had  de- 
clared for  Alexander,  and  Gregory,  obliged  to  flee  in  the  dis- 
guise of  a  merchant,  found  refuge  in  the  ships  of  Ladislaus. 

Benedict's  council  met  in  Perpignan  six  months  before,  No- 
vember, 1408.  One  hundred  and  twenty  prelates  were  in 
attendance,  most  of  them  from  Spain.  The  council  adjourned 
March  26, 1409,  after  appointing  a  delegation  of  seven  to  pro- 
ceed to  Pisa  and  negotiate  for  the  healing  of  the  schism. 

After  Alexander's  election,  the  members  lost  interest  in  the 
synod  and  began  to  withdraw  from  Pisa,  and  it  was  found  im- 
possible to  keep  the  promise  made  by  the  cardinals  that  there 
should  be  no  adjournment  till  measures  had  been  taken  to 
reform  the  Church  "  in  head  and  members."  Commissions 
were  appointed  to  consider  reforms,  and  Alexander  prorogued 
the  body,  Aug.  7,  1409,  after  appointing  another  council  for 
April  12,  1412.2 

1  Nieheim,  p.  320  sqq.,  gives  an  account  of  Alexander's  early  life. 

9  Creighton  is  unduly  severe  upon  Alexander  and  the  council  for  adjourn- 
ing, without  carrying  out  the  promise  of  reform.  Hefele,  VI.  1042,  treats  the 
matter  with  fairness,  and  shows  the  difficulty  involved  in  a  disciplinary  re- 
form  where  the  evils  were  of  such  long  standing. 


144  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

At  the  opening  of  the  Pisan  synod  there  were  two  popes ;  at 
its  close,  three.  Scotland  and  Spain  still  held  to  Benedict,  and 
Naples  and  parts  of  Central  Europe  continued  to  acknowledge 
the  obedience  of  Gregory.  The  greater  part  of  Christendom, 
however,  was  bound  to  the  support  of  Alexander.  This 
pontiff  lacked  the  strength  needed  for  the  emergency,  and  he 
aroused  the  opposition  of  the  University  of  Paris  by  extending 
the  rights  of  the  Mendicant  orders  to  hear  confessions.1  He 
died  at  Bologna,  May  3,  1410,  without  having  entered  the 
papal  city.  Rumor  went  that  Balthazar  Cossa,  who  was  about 
to  be  elected  his  successor,  had  poison  administered  to  him. 

As  a  rule,  modern  Catholic  historians  are  inclined  to  belittle 
the  Pisan  synod,  and  there  is  an  almost  general  agreement 
among  them  that  it  lacked  oecumenical  character.  Without 
pronouncing  a  final  decision  on  the  question,  Bellarmin  re- 
garded Alexander  V.  as  legitimate  pope.  Gerson  and  other 
great  contemporaries  treated  it  as  oecumenical,  as  did  also 
Bossuet  and  other  Gallican  historians  two  centuries  later. 
Modern  Catholic  historians  treat  the  claims  of  Gregory  XII. 
as  not  affected  by  a  council  which  was  itself  illegitimate  and 
a  high-handed  revolt  against  canon  law.2 

But  whether  the  name  cecumencial  be  given  or  be  withheld 
matters  little,  in  view  of  the  general  judgment  which  the 
summons  and  sitting  of  the  council  call  forth.  It  was  a  des- 
perate measure  adopted  to  suit  an  emergency,  but  it  was  also 
the  product  of  a  new  freedom  of  ecclesiastical  thought,  and 

1  The  number  of  ecclesiastical  gifts  made  by  Alexander  in  his  brief  pon- 
tificate was  large,  and  Nieheim  pithily  says  that  when  the  waters  are  confused, 
then  is  the  time  to  fish. 

8  Pastor,  I.  192,  speaks  of  the  unholy  Pisan  synod  —  segenslose  Pisaner 
Synode.  All  ultramontane  historians  disparage  it,  and  Hergenrttther-Kirsch 
uses  a  tone  of  irony  in  describing  its  call  and  proceedings.  They  do  not  exon- 
erate Gregory  from  having  broken  his  solemn  promise,  but  they  treat  the 
council  as  wholly  illegitimate,  either  because  it  was  not  called  by  a  pope  or  be- 
cause it  had  not  the  universal  support  of  the  Catholic  nations.  Hefele,  I.  67 
sqq.,  denies  to  it  the  character  of  an  oecumenical  synod,  but  places  it  in  a 
category  by  itself.  Pastor  opens  his  treatment  with  a  discourse  on  the 
primacy  of  the  papacy,  dating  from  Peter,  and  the  sole  right  of  the  pope  to  call 
a  council.  The  cardinals  who  called  it  usurped  an  authority  which  did  not 
belong  to  them. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OP  CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.        145 

so  far  a  good  omen  of  a  better  age.  The  Pisan  synod  demon- 
strated that  the  Church  remained  virtually  a  unit  in  spite  of 
the  double  pontifical  administration.  It  branded  by  their 
right  names  the  specious  manoeuvres  of  Gregory  and  Peter  de 
Luna.  It  brought  together  the  foremost  thinkers  and  literary 
interests  of  Europe  and  furnished  a  platform  of  free  discussion. 
Not  its  least  service  was  in  preparing  the  way  for  the  impos- 
ing council  which  convened  in  Constance  five  years  later. 

§  16.    The  Council  of  Constance.    1414-1418. 

At  Alexander's  death,  seventeen  cardinals  met  in  Bologna 
and  elected  Balthazar  Cossa,  who  took  the  name  of  John 
XXIII.  He  was  of  noble  Neapolitan  lineage,  began  his 
career  as  a  soldier  and  perhaps  as  a  corsair,1  was  graduated 
in  both  laws  at  Bologna  and  was  made  cardinal  by  Boniface 
IX.  He  joined  in  the  call  of  the  council  of  Pisa.  A  man  of 
ability,  he  was  destitute  of  every  moral  virtue,  and  capable  of 
every  vice. 

Leaning  for  support  upon  Louis  of  Anjou,  John  gained 
entrance  to  Rome.  In  the  battle  of  Rocca  Secca,  May  14, 
1411,  Louis  defeated  the  troops  of  Ladislaus.  The  captured 
battle-flags  were  sent  to  Rome,  hung  up  in  St.  Peter's,  then 
torn  down  in  the  sight  of  the  people,  and  dragged  in  the  dust 
in  the  triumphant  procession  through  the  streets  of  the  city, 
in  which  John  participated.  Ladislaus  speedily  recovered 
from  his  defeat,  and  John,  with  his  usual  faithlessness,  made 
terms  with  Ladislaus,  recognizing  him  as  king,  while  Ladislaus, 
on  his  part,  renounced  his  allegiance  to  Gregory  XII.  That 
pontiff  was  ordered  to  quit  Neapolitan  territory,  and  embark- 
ing in  Venetian  vessels  at  Gaeta,  fled  to  Dalmatia,  and  finally 
took  refuge  with  Charles  Malatesta  of  Rimini,  his  last  polit- 
ical ally. 

The  Council  of  Constance,  the  second  of  the  Reformatory 
councils,  was  called  together  by  the  joint  act  of  Pope  John 
XXIII.  and  Sigisr  lund,  king  of  the  Romans.  It  was  not  till 
he  was  reminded  by  the  University  of  Paris  that  John  paid 

i  Nieheim,  'n  Life  of  John,  in  Van  der  Hardt,  II.  339. 


146  THE  MIDDLE  AolB.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

heed  to  the  action  of  the  Council  of  Pisa  and  called  a  council 
to  meet  at  Rome,  April,  1412.  Its  sessions  were  scantily 
attended,  and  scarcely  a  trace  of  it  is  left.1  After  ordering 
Wyclif  s  writings  burnt,  it  adjourned  Feb.  10, 1413.  John  had 
strengthened  the  college  of  cardinals  by  adding  fourteen  to  its 
number,  among  them  men  of  the  first  rank,  as  D'Ailly,  Za- 
barella  of  Florence,  Robert  Hallum,  bishop  of  Salisbury,  and 
Fillastre,  dean  of  Rheims. 

Ladislaus,  weary  of  his  treaty  with  John  and  ambitious  to 
create  a  unified  Latin  kingdom,  took  Rome,  1413,  giving  the 
city  over  to  sack.  The  king  rode  into  the  Lateran  and  looked 
down  from  his  horse  on  the  heads  of  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul, 
which  he  ordered  the  canons  to  display.  The  very  churches 
were  robbed,  and  soldiers  and  their  courtesans  drank  wine 
out  of  the  sacred  chalices.  Ladislaus  left  Rome,  struck  with 
a  vicious  disease,  rumored  to  be  due  to  poison  administered 
by  an  apothecary's  daughter  of  Perugia,  and  died  at  Naples, 
August,  1414.  He  had  been  one  of  the  most  prominent 
figures  in  Europe  for  a  quarter  of  a  century  and  the  chief 
supporter  of  the  Roman  line  of  pontiffs. 

Driven  from  Rome,  John  was  thrown  into  the  hands  of 
Sigismund,  who  was  then  in  Lombardy.  This  prince,  the 
grandson  of  the  blind  king,  John,  who  was  killed  at  Crecy, 
had  come  to  the  throne  of  Hungary  through  marriage 
with  its  heiress.  At  Ruprecht's  death  he  was  elected  king 
of  the  Romans,  1411.  Circumstances  and  his  own  energy 
made  him  the  most  prominent  sovereign  of  his  age  and  the 
chief  political  figure  in  the  Council  of  Constance.  He  lacked 
high  aims  and  moral  purpose,  but  had  some  taste  for  books, 
and  spoke  several  languages  besides  his  own  native  German. 
Many  sovereigns  have  placed  themselves  above  national  stat- 
utes, but  Sigismund  went  farther  and,  according  to  the  story, 
placed  himself  above  the  rules  of  grammar.  In  his  first  address 
at  the  Council  of  Constance,  so  it  is  said,  he  treated  the  Latin 
word  schisma,  schism,  as  if  it  were  feminine.2  When  Pris- 

1  Finke  :  Forschungen,  p.  2  ;  Acta  cone.,  p.  108  sqq. 
3  Date  operam,  the  king  said,  ut  ista  nefanda  schisma  cradicetur.    See 
Wylie,  p.  18. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OFfcoNSTAWCfc.      H14-1418.        147 

cian  and  other  learned  grammarians  were  quoted  to  him  to 
show  it  was  neuter,  lie  replied,  "  Yes  ;  but  I  ain  emperor  and 
above  them,  and  can  make  a  new  grammar.  "  The  fact  that 
Sigisraund  was  not  yet  emperor  when  the  mistake  is  said  to 
have  been  made  —  for  he  was  not  crowned  till  1433  —  seems 
to  prejudice  the  authenticity  of  the  story,  but  it  is  quite  likely 
that  he  made  mistakes  in  Latin  and  that  the  bon-mot  was 
humorously  invented  with  reference  to  it. 

Pressed  by  the  growing  troubles  in  Bohemia  over  John 
Huss,  Sigismund  easily  became  an  active  participant  in  the 
measures  looking  towards  a  new  council.  Men  distrusted 
John  XXIII.  The  only  hope  of  healing  the  schism  seemed  to 
rest  with  the  future  emperor.  In  many  documents,  and  by 
John  himself,  he  was  addressed  as  "  advocate  and  defender 
of  the  Church  " l —  advocatus  et  defemor  ecclesice.1 

Two  of  John's  cardinals  met  Sigismund  at  Como,  Oct.  13, 
1413,  and  discussed  the  time  and  place  of  the  new  synod. 
John  preferred  an  Italian  city,  Sigismund  the  small  Swabian 
town  of  Kempten  ;  Strassburg,  Basel,  and  other  places  were 
mentioned,  but  Constance,  on  German  territory,  was  at  last 
fixed  upon.  On  Oct.  30  Sigismund  announced  the  approach- 
ing council  to  all  the  prelates,  princes,  and  doctors  of  Christ- 
endom, and  on  Dec.  9  John  attached  his  seal  to  the  call. 
Sigismund  and  John  met  at  Lodi  the  last  of  November,  1413, 
and  again  at  Cremona  early  in  January,  1414,  the  pope  being 
accompanied  by  thirteen  cardinals.  Thus  the  two  great 
luminaries  of  this  mundane  sphere  were  again  side  by  side.2 
They  ascended  together  the  great  Torazzo,  close  to  the  cathe- 
dral of  Cremona,  accompanied  by  the  lord  of  the  town,  who 
afterwards  regretted  that  he  had  not  seized  his  opportunity 
and  pitched  them  both  down  to  the  street.  Not  till  the  fol- 
lowing August  was  a  formal  announcement  of  the  impending 

1  See  Finke,  Forschungen,  p.  28.    Sigismund  gives  himself  the  same  title. 
See  his  letter  to  Gregory,  Mansi,  XXVIII.  3. 

2  Sigismund,  in  his  letter  to  Charles  VI.  of  France,  announcing  the  council, 
had  used  the  mediaeval  figure  of  the  two  lights,  duo  luminaria  super  ter- 
rain, mains  videlicet  minus  ut  in  ipsis  universalis  ecclesice  consistere  flr- 
mamentum  in  quibus  pontificalia  anctftritas  et  regalis  potentia  designantur, 
unaquas  spiritualia  et  altera  qua  corporalia  regerentur.    Mansi,  XXVIII.  4. 


148  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

council  sent  to  Gregory  XII.,  who  recognized  Sigismund  as 
king  of  the  Romans.1  Gregory  complained  to  Archbishop 
Andrew  of  Spalato,  bearer  of  the  notice,  of  the  lateness  of  the 
invitation,  and  that  he  had  not  been  consulted  in  regard  to 
the  council.  Sigismund  promised  that,  if  Gregory  should  be 
deposed,  he  would  see  to  it  that  he  received  a  good  life  posi- 
tion.2 

The  council,  which  was  appointed  for  Nov.  1, 1414,  lasted 
nearly  four  years,  and  proved  to  be  one  of  the  most  impos- 
ing gatherings  which  has  ever  convened  in  Western  Europe. 
It  was  a  veritable  parliament  of  nations,  a  convention  of  the 
leading  intellects  of  the  age,  who  pressed  together  to  give 
vent  to  the  spirit  of  free  discussion  which  the  Avignon  scan- 
dals and  the  schism  had  developed,  and  to  debate  the  most 
urgent  of  questions,  the  reunion  of  Christendom  under  one 
undisputed  head."  8 

Following  the  advice  of  his  cardinals,  John,  who  set  his  face 
reluctantly  towards  the  North,  reached  Constance  Oct.  28, 
1414.  The  city  then  contained  5500  people,  and  the  beauty 
of  its  location,  its  fields,  and  its  vineyards,  were  praised  by 
Nieheim  and  other  contemporaries.  They  also  spoke  of  the 
salubriousness  of  the  air  and  the  justice  of  the  municipal  laws 
for  strangers.  It  seemed  to  be  as  a  field  which  the  Lord  had 
blessed.4  As  John  approached  Constance,  coming  byway  of 
the  Tirol,  he  is  said  to  have  exclaimed,  "  Ha,  this  is  the  place 
where  foxes  are  trapped."  He  entered  the  town  in  great 
style,  accompanied  by  nine  cardinals  and  sixteen  hundred 
mounted  horsemen.  He  rode  a  white  horse,  its  back  covered 
with  a  red  rug.  Its  bridles  were  held  by  the  count  of  Mont- 
ferrat  and  an  Orsini  of  Rome.  The  city  council  sent  to  the 

1  There  is  some  evidence  that  a  report  was  abroad  in  Italy  that  Sigismund 
intended  to  have  all  three  popes  put  on  trial  at  Constance,  but  that  a  gift  of 
60,000  gulden  from  John  at  Lodi  induced  him  to  support  that  pontiff.  Finke : 
Acta,  p.  177  sq. 

*  Sigismund's  letters  are  given  by  Hardt,  VL  5,  6  ;  Mansi,  XXVIII.  2-4. 
See  Finke,  Forschungen,  p.  23. 

8  Funk,  Kirchengesch.,  p.  470,  calls  it  eine  der  grossartigsten  Kirchenver- 
sammlungen  welche  die  Geschichte  kennt,  gewissermctssen  ein  Kongrets  des 
ganzen  Abendlandes.  *  Hardt,  II.  80S. 


w 


& 

d 


a 
< 

H 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OF   CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.         149 

pope's  lodgings  four  large  barrels  of  Elsass  wine,  eight  of 
native  wine,  and  other  wines.1 

The  first  day  of  November,  John  attended  a  solemn  mass 
at  the  cathedral.  The  council  met  on  the  5th,  with  fifteen 
cardinals  present.  The  first  public  session  was  held  Nov. 
16.  In  all,  forty-five  public  sessions  were  held,  the  usual 
hour  of  assembling  being  7  in  the  morning.  Gregory  XII. 
was  represented  by  two  delegates,  the  titular  patriarch  of 
Constantinople  and  Cardinal  John  Dominici  of  Ragusa,  a 
man  of  great  sagacity  and  excellent  spirit. 

The  convention  did  not  get  into  full  swing  until  the  arrival 
of  Sigismund  on  Christmas  Eve,  fresh  from  his  coronation, 
which  occurred  at  Aachen,  Nov.  8,  and  accompanied  by  his 
queen,  Barbara,  and  a  brilliant  suite.  After  warming  them- 
selves, the  imperial  party  proceeded  to  the  cathedral  and,  at 
cock-crowing  Christmas  morning,  were  received  by  the  pope. 
Services  were  held  lasting  eight,  or,  according  to  another 
authority,  eleven  hours  without  interruption.  Sigismund, 
wearing  his  crown  and  a  dalmatic,  exercised  the  functions 
of  deacon  and  read  the  Gospel,  and  the  pope  conferred 
upon  him  a  sword,  bidding  him  use  it  to  protect  the 
Church. 

Constance  had  become  the  most  conspicuous  locality  in 
Europe.  It  attracted  people  of  every  rank,  from  the  king  to 
the  beggar.  A  scene  of  the  kind  on  so  great  a  scale  had 
never  been  witnessed  in  the  West  before.  The  reports  of 
the  number  of  strangers  in  the  city  vary  from  50,000  to 
100,000.  Bichental,  the  indefatigable  Boswell  of  the  council, 
himself  a  resident  of  Constance,  gives  an  account  of  the  ar- 
rival of  every  important  personage,  together  with  the  number 
of  his  retainers.  One-half  of  his  Chronicle  is  a  directory  of 
names.  He  went  from  house  to  house,  taking  a  census,  and 
to  the  thousands  he  mentions  by  name,  he  adds  5000  who 

1  Richental,  Chronik,  pp.  25-28,  gives  a  graphic  description  of  John's  entry 
into  the  city.  This  writer,  who  was  a  citizen  of  Constance,  the  office  he  filled 
being  unknown,  had  unusual  opportunities  for  observing  what  was  going 
on  and  getting  the  official  documents.  He  gives  copies  of  several  of  John's 
bulls,  and  the  most  detailed  accounts  of  some  of  the  proceedings  at  which  he 
was  present.  See  p.  129. 


150  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

rode  in  and  out  of  the  town  every  day.  He  states  that  80,000 
witnessed  the  coronation  of  Martin  V.  The  lodgings  of  the 
more  distinguished  personages  were  marked  with  their  coats 
of  arms.  Bakers,  beadles,  grooms,  scribes,  goldsmiths,  mer- 
chantmen of  every  sort,  even  to  traffickers  from  the  Orient, 
flocked  together  to  serve  the  dukes  and  prelates  and  the 
learned  university  masters  and  doctors.  There  were  in  at- 
tendance on  the  council,  33  cardinals,  5  patriarchs,  47  arch- 
bishops, 145  bishops,  93  titular  bishops,  217  doctors  of 
theology,  361  doctors  in  both  laws,  171  doctors  of  medicine, 
besides  a  great  number  of  masters  of  arts  from  the  37  univer- 
sities represented,  83  kings  and  princes  represented  by  envoys, 
38  dukes,  173  counts,  71  barons,  more  than  1500  knights, 
142  writers  of  bulls,  1700  buglers,  fiddlers,  and  players  on 
other  musical  instruments.  700  women  of  the  street  prac- 
tised their  trade  openly  or  in  rented  houses,  while  the 
number  of  those  who  practised  it  secretly  was  a  matter  of 
conjecture.1  There  were  36,000  beds  for  strangers.  500  are 
said  to  have  been  drowned  in  the  lake  during  the  progress 
of  the  council.  Huss  wrote,  "  This  council  is  a  scene  of  foul- 
ness, for  it  is  a  common  saying  among  the  Swiss  that  a  gener- 
ation will  not  suffice  to  cleanse  Constance  from  the  sins  which 
the  council  has  committed  in  this  city."  2 

The  English  and  Scotch  delegation,  which  numbered  less 
than  a  dozen  persons,  was  accompanied  by  700  or  800  mounted 
men,  splendidly  accoutred,  and  headed  by  fifers  and  other 
musicians,  and  made  a  great  sensation  by  their  entry  into  the 
city.  The  French  delegation  was  marked  by  its  university 
men  and  other  men  of  learning.8 

1  Qffene  Huren  in  den  Hurenhausern  und  solche,  die  selber  Hauser  gemie- 
thet  hatten  und  in  den  Mallen  lagen  und  wo  sie  mochten,  doren  waren  uber 
700  und  die  heimlichen,  die  lass  ich  belibnen.  Richental,  p.  '215.  The  numbers 
above  are  taken  from  Richental,  whose  account,  from  p.  164  to  215,  is  taken 
up  with  the  lists  of  names.  See  also  Van  der  Hardt,  V.  60-53,  who  gives 
18,000  prelates  and  priests  and  80,000  laymen.  A  later  hand  has  attached  to 
Richental's  narrative  the  figures  72,460. 

a  Workman  :  Letters  of  Huss,  p.  263. 

•  Usk,  p.  304  ;  Kymer,  Feeder.,  IX.  167;  Richental,  p.  34,  speaks  of  the 
French  as  die  Schulpfaffen  und  die  gelehrten  Leute  am  Frankreich. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OF   CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.        151 

The  streets  and  surroundings  presented  the  spectacle  of  a 
merry  fair.  There  were  tournaments,  dances,  acrobatic  shows, 
processions,  musical  displays.  But  in  spite  of  the  conges- 
tion, good  order  seems  to  have  been  maintained.  By  order 
of  the  city  council,  persons  were  forbidden  to  be  out  after 
curfew  without  a  light.  Chains  were  to  be  stretched  across 
some  of  the  streets,  and  all  shouting  at  night  was  forbidden. 
It  is  said  that  during  the  council's  progress  only  two  persons 
were  punished  for  street  brawls.  A  check  was  put  upon 
extortionate  rates  by  a  strict  tariff.  The  price  of  a  white  loaf 
was  fixed  at  a  penny,  and  a  bed  for  two  persons,  with  sheets 
and  pillows,  at  a  gulden  and  a  half  a  month,  the  linen  to  be 
washed  every  two  weeks.  Fixed  prices  were  put  upon  grains, 
meat,  eggs,  birds,  and  other  articles  of  food.1  The  bankers 
present  were  a  great  number,  among  them  the  young  Cosimo 
de'  Medici  of  Florence. 

Among  the  notables  in  attendance,  the  pope  and  Sigismund 
occupied  the  chief  place.  The  most  inordinate  praise  was 
heaped  upon  the  king.  He  was  compared  to  Daniel,  who 
rescued  Susanna,  and  to  David.  He  was  fond  of  pleasure, 
very  popular  with  women,  always  in  debt  and  calling  for 
money,  but  a  deadly  foe  of  heretics,  so  that  whenever  he 
roared,  it  was  said,  the  Wyclifites  fled.2  There  can  be  no 
doubt  that  to  Sigismund  were  due  the  continuance  and  success 
of  the  council.  His  queen,  Barbara,  the  daughter  of  a  Styrian 
count,  was  tall  and  fair,  but  of  questionable  reputation,  and 
her  gallantries  became  the  talk  of  the  town. 

The  next  most  eminent  persons  were  Cardinals  D'Ailly, 
Zabarella,  Fillastre,  John  of  Ragusa,  and  Hallum,  bishop  of 
Salisbury,  who  died  during  the  session  of  the  council,  and  was 

1  Richental,  p.  39  sqq.,  gives  an  elaborate  list  of  these  regulations. 

2  So  de  Vrie,  the  poet-historian  of  the  council,  Hardt,  1. 193.    The  follow- 
ing description  is  from  the  accomplished  pen  of  JEneas  Sylvius,  afterwards 
Pius  II:  "  He  was  tall,  with  bright  eyes,  broad  forehead,  pleasantly  rosy 
cheeks,  and  a  long,  thick  beard.  He  was  witty  in  conversation,  given  to  wine 
and  women,  and  thousands  of  love  intrigues  are  laid  to  his  charge.     He  had  a 
large  mind  and  formed  many  plans,  but  was  changeable.    He  was  prone  to 
anger,    but  ready  to  forgive.     He  could  not  keep   his  money,  but  spent 
lavishly,     He  made  more  promises  than  he  kept,  and  often  deceived/' 


152  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1617. 

buried  in  Constance,  the  bishop  of  Winchester,  uncle  to  the 
English  king,  and  John  Gerson,  the  chief  representative  of  the 
University  of  Paris.  Zabarella  was  the  most  profound  author- 
ity on  civil  and  canon  law  in  Europe,  a  professor  at  Bologna, 
and  in  1410  made  bishop  of  Florence.  He  died  in  the  midst 
of  the  council's  proceedings,  Sept.  26, 1417.  Fillastre  left  be- 
hind him  a  valuable  daily  journal  of  the  council's  proceedings. 
D'Ailly  had  been  for  some  time  one  of  the  most  prominent 
figures  in  Europe.  Hallum  is  frequently  mentioned  in  the 
proceedings  of  the  council.  Among  the  most  powerful  agencies 
at  work  in  the  assemblies  were  the  tracts  thrown  off  at  the 
time,  especially  those  of  Diedrich  of  Nieheim,  one  of  the 
most  influential  pamphleteers  of  the  later  Middle  Ages.1 

The  subjects  which  the  council  was  called  together  to  dis- 
cuss were  the  reunion  of  the  Church  under  one  pope,  and 
Church  reforms.2  The  action  against  heresy,  including  the 
condemnation  of  John  Huss  and  Jerome  of  Prag,  is  also  con- 
spicuous among  the  proceedings  of  the  council,  though  not 
treated  by  contemporaries  as  a  distinct  subject.  From  the 
start,  John  lost  support.  A  sensation  was  made  by  a  tract, 
the  work  of  an  Italian,  describing  John's  vices  both  as  man 
and  pope.  John  of  Ragusa  and  Fillastre  recommended  the 
resignation  of  all  three  papal  claimants,  and  this  idea  became 
more  and  more  popular,  and  was,  after  some  delay,  adopted  by 
Sigismund,  and  was  trenchantly  advocated  by  Nieheim,  in  his 
tract  on  the  Necessity  of  a  Reformation  in  the  Church. 

From  the  very  beginning  great  plainness  of  speech  was  used, 
so  that  John  had  good  reason  to  be  concerned  for  the  tenure 
of  his  office.  December  7,  1414,  the  cardinals  passed  prop- 
ositions binding  him  to  a  faithful  performance  of  his  papal 

*  Finke,  p.  133,  calls  him  the  "  greatest  journalist  of  the  later  Middle  Ages." 
The  tracts  De  modi*  uniendi,  De  difflcultate  reformations,  De,  necessitate 
reformations  are  now  all  ascribed  to  Nieheim  by  Finke,  p.  133,  who  follows 
Lenz,  and  with  whom  Pastor  concurs  as  against  Erler. 

2  In  hoc  generali  concilio  agendum  fuit  de  pace  et  unione  perfecta  ec~ 
clesice,  secundo  de  reformation  illius,  Fillastre's  Journal,  in  Finke,  p.  164. 
H(KC  synodus  .  .  .  pro  exstirpatione  prcesentis  schismatis  et  unione  ac  refor- 
mattone  ecclesice  Dei  in  capite  et  membris  is  the  council's  own  declaration, 
Mansi,  XXVII.  585. 


§  36.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  COKSTANCE.      1414-1418.        153 

duties  and  abstinence  from  simony.  D'Ailly  wrote  against 
the  infallibility  of  councils,  and  thus  furnished  the  ground 
for  setting  aside  the  papal  election  at  Pisa. 

From  November  to  January,  1415,  a  general  disposition  was 
manifested  to  avoid  taking  the  initiative  — the  noli  me  tangere 
policy,  as  it  was  called.1  The  ferment  of  thought  and  dis- 
cusssion  became  more  and  more  active,  until  the  first  notable 
principle  was  laid  down  early  in  February,  1415;  namely,  the 
rule  requiring  the  vote  to  be  by  nations.  The  purpose  was 
to  overcome  the  vote  of  the  eighty  Italian  bishops  and  doctors 
who  were  committed  to  John's  cause.  The  action  was  taken 
in  the  face  of  John's  opposition,  and  followed  the  precedent 
set  by  the  University  of  Paris  in  the  government  of  its 
affairs.  By  this  rule,  which  no  council  before  or  since  has 
followed,  except  the  little  Council  of  Siena,  1423,  England, 
France,  Italy,  and  Germany  had  each  a  single  vote  in  the 
affairs  of  the  council.  In  1417,  when  Aragon,  Castile,  and 
Scotland  gave  in  their  submission  to  the  council,  a  fifth  vote 
was  accorded  to  Spain.  England  had  the  smallest  represen- 
tation. In  the  German  nation  were  included  Scandinavia, 
Poland,  and  Hungary.  The  request  of  the  cardinals  to  have 
accorded  to  them  a  distinct  vote  as  a  body  was  denied.  They 
met  with  the  several  nations  to  which  they  belonged,  and 
were  limited  to  the  same  rights  enjoyed  by  other  individuals. 
This  rule  seems  to  have  been  pressed  from  the  first  with  great 
energy  by  the  English,  led  by  Robert  of  Salisbury.  Strange 
to  say,  there  is  no  record  that  this  mode  of  voting  was  adopted 
by  any  formal  conciliar  decree.2 

The  nations  met  each  under  its  own  president  in  separate 
places,  the  English  and  Germans  sitting  in  different  rooms 
in  the  convent  of  the  Grey  Friars.  The  vote  of  the  majority 
of  the  nations  carried  in  the  public  sessions  of  the  council. 
The  right  to  vote  in  the  nations  was  extended  so  as  to  include 
the  doctors  of  both  kinds  and  princes.  D'Ailly  advocated 
this  course,  and  Fillastre  argued  in  favor  of  including  rectors 

1  Apud  aliquos  erat  morbus  "  noli  me  tangere,"  Fillastre's  Journal,  p.  164. 
a  See  Finke,  Forschungen,  p.  31.    Richental,  pp.  50-53,  gives  a  quaint  ac- 
count of  the  territorial  possessions  of  the  five  nations. 


154  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

and  even  clergymen  of  the  lowest  rank.  Why,  reasoned 
D'Ailly,  should  a  titular  bishop  have  an  equal  voice  with  a 
bishop  ruling  over  an  extensive  see,  say  the  archbishopic  of 
Mainz,  and  why  should  a  doctor  be  denied  all  right  to  vote 
who  has  given  up  his  time  and  thought  to  the  questions 
under  discussion  ?  And  why,  argued  Fillastre,  should  an 
abbot,  having  control  over  only  ten  monks,  have  a  vote,  when 
a  rector  with  a  cure  of  a  thousand  or  ten  thousand  souls  is 
excluded  ?  An  ignorant  king  or  prelate  he  called  a  "  crowned 
ass."  Doctors  were  on  hand  for  the  very  purpose  of  clear- 
ing up  ignorance. 

When  the  Italian  tract  appeared,  which  teemed  with 
charges  against  John,  matters  were  brought  to  a  crisis.  Then 
it  became  evident  that  the  scheme  calling  for  the  removal  of 
all  three  popes  would  go  through,  and  John,  to  avoid  a  worse 
fate,  agreed  to  resign,  making  the  condition  that  Gregory  XII. 
and  Benedict  should  also  resign.  The  formal  announcement, 
which  was  read  at  the  second  session,  March  2, 1415,  ran :  "  I, 
John  XXIII.,  pope,  promise,  agree,  and  obligate  myself,  vow 
and  swear  before  God,  the  Church,  and  this  holy  council,  of 
my  own  free  will  and  spontaneously,  to  give  peace  to  the 
Church  by  abdication,  provided  the  pretenders,  Benedict  and 
Gregory,  do  the  same."1  At  the  words  "vow  and  swear," 
John  rose  from  his  seat  and  knelt  down  at  the  altar,  remain- 
ing on  his  knees  till  he  finished  the  reading.  The  reading 
being  over,  Sigismund  removed  his  crown,  bent  before  John, 
and  kissed  his  feet.  Five  days  after,  John  issued  a  bull  con- 
firming his  oath. 

Constance  was  wild  with  joy.  The  bells  rang  out  the  glad 
news.  In  the  cathedral,  joy  expressed  itself  in  tears.  The 
spontaneity  of  John's  self-deposition  may  be  questioned,  in 
view  of  the  feeling  which  prevailed  among  the  councillors  and 
the  report  that  he  had  made  an  offer  to  cede  the  papacy  for 
30,000  gulden.2 

A  most  annoying,  though  ridiculous,  turn  was  now  given 
to  affairs  by  John's  flight  from  Constance,  March  20.  Ru- 

1  Hardt,  II.  240,  also  IV.  44  ;  Mansi,  XXVII.  668.     Also  Richental,  p.  66. 

2  According  to  a  MS.  found  at  Vienna  by  Finke,  Fonchunyen,  p.  148. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.        155 

mors  had  been  whispered  about  that  he  was  contemplating 
such  a  move.  He  talked  of  transferring  the  council  to  Rizza, 
and  complained  of  the  unhealthiness  of  the  air  of  Constance. 
He,  however,  made  the  solemn  declaration  that  he  would  not 
leave  the  town  before  the  dissolution  of  the  council.  To  be 
on  the  safe  side,  Sigismund  gave  orders  for  the  gates  to  be 
kept  closed  and  the  lake  watched.  But  John  had  practised 
dark  arts  before,  and,  unmindful  of  his  oath,  escaped  at 
high  noon  on  a  "  little  horse,"  in  the  disguise  of  a  groom, 
wrapped  in  a  gray  cloak,  wearing  a  gray  cap,  and  having  a 
crossbow  tied  to  his  saddle.1  The  flight  was  made  while  the 
gay  festivities  of  a  tournament,  instituted  by  Frederick,  duke 
of  Austria,  were  going  on,  and  with  two  attendants.  The 
pope  continued  his  course  without  rest  till  he  reached  Schaff- 
hausen.  This  place  belonged  to  the  duke,  who  was  in  the 
secret,  and  on  whom  John  had  conferred  the  office  of  com- 
mander of  the  papal  troops,  with  a  yearly  grant  of  6000  gulden. 
John's  act  was  an  act  of  desperation.  He  wrote  back  to  the 
council,  giving  as  the  reason  of  his  flight  that  he  had  been  in 
fear  of  Sigismund,  and  that  his  freedom  of  action  had  been 
restricted  by  the  king.2 

So  great  was  the  panic  produced  by  the  pope's  flight  that 
the  council  would  probably  have  been  brought  to  a  sudden 
close  by  a  general  scattering  of  its  members,  had  it  not  been 
for  Sigismund's  prompt  action.  Cardinals  and  envoys  de- 
spatched by  the  king  and  council  made  haste  to  stop  the 
fleeing  pope,  who  continued  on  to  Laufenburg,  Freiburg,  and 
Breisach.  John  wrote  to  Sigismund,  expressing  his  regard 
for  him,  but  with  the  same  pen  he  was  addressing  communi- 
cations to  the  University  of  Paris  and  the  duke  of  Orleans, 
seeking  to  awaken  sympathy  for  his  cause  by  playing  upon 
the  national  feelings  of  the  French.  He  attempted  to  make 
it  appear  that  the  French  delegation  had  been  disparaged 
when  the  council  proceeded  to  business  before  the  arrival 
of  the  twenty-two  deputies  of  the  University.  France  and 

1  Richental,  pp.  62-72,  gives  a  vivid  account  of  John's  flight  and  seizure. 

2  Fillastre ;  Finke,  Forschungen,  p.  169,  j>apa  dicebat  quod  pro  timore  regis 
Romanorum  rccesserat. 


156  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Italy,  with  two  hundred  prelates,  had  each  only  a  single  vote, 
while  England,  with  only  three  prelates,  had  a  vote.  God, 
he  affirmed,  dealt  with  individuals  and  not  with  nations.  He 
also  raised  the  objection  that  married  laymen  had  votes  at  the 
side  of  prelates,  and  John  Huss  had  not  been  put  on  trial, 
though  he  had  been  condemned  by  the  University  of  Paris. 

To  the  envoys  who  found  John  at  Breisach,  April  23,  he 
gave  his  promise  to  return  with  them  to  Constance  the  next 
morning  ;  but  with  his  usual  duplicity,  he  attempted  to  es- 
cape during  the  night,  and  was  let  down  from  the  castle  by 
a  ladder,  disguised  as  a  peasant.  He  was  soon  seized,  and 
ultimately  handed  over  by  Sigismund  to  Louis  III.,  of  the 
Palatinate,  for  safe-keeping. 

In  the  meantime  the  council  forbade  any  of  the  delegates 
to  leave  Constance  before  the  end  of  the  proceedings,  on  pain 
of  excommunication  and  the  loss  of  dignities.  Its  fourth  and 
fifth  sessions,  beginning  April  6,  1415,  mark  an  epoch  in  the 
history  of  ecclesiastical  statement.  The  council  declared 
that,  being  assembled  legitimately  in  the  Holy  Spirit,  it  was 
an  oecumenical  council  and  representing  the  whole  Church, 
had  its  authority  immediately  from  Christ,  and  that  to  it  the 
pope  and  persons  of  every  grade  owed  obedience  in  things 
pertaining  to  the  faith  and  to  the  reformation  of  the  Church 
in  head  and  members.  It  was  superior  to  all  other  eccle- 
siastical tribunals.1  This  declaration,  stated  with  more  pre- 
cision than  the  one  of  Pisa,  meant  a  vast  departure  from  the 
papal  theory  of  Innocent  III.  and  Boniface  VIII. 

Gerson,  urging  this  position  in  his  sermon  before  the 
council,  March  23, 1415,  said2  the  gates  of  hell  had  prevailed 
against  popes,  but  not  against  the  Church.  Joseph  was  set 
to  guard  his  master's  wife,  not  to  debauch  her,  and  when  the 

1  Hardt,  IV.  89  sq.,  and  Mansi,  XXVII.  686-690.    The  deliverance  runs : 
hcec  sancta  synodus  Constantiensis  primo  declarat  ut  ipsa  synodus  in  S. 
Spirits  legitime  congregate  generate  concilium  faciens,  cedes,  catholicam 
militantem  representans,  potestatem  a  Christo  immediate  habeat,  cut  quilibet 
cujusmodi  status  vel  dignitatis,  etiamai  papalis  exist  at,  obedire  tenetur  in  his 
qua  pertinent  ad  fldem  et  exstirpationem  prcesentis  schismatis  et  reforma- 
tionem  eccles.  in  capite  et  membris. 

2  Hardt,  II.  266-273  ;  Du  Pin,  II.  201  sqq. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.        157 

pope  turned  aside  from  his  duty,  the  Church  had  authority 
to  punish  him.  A  council  has  the  right  by  reason  of  the 
vivifying  power  of  the  Holy  Spirit  to  prolong  itself,  and 
may,  under  certain  conditions,  assemble  without  call  of  pope 
or  his  consent. 

The  conciliar  declarations  reaffirmed  the  principle  laid 
down  by  Nieheim  on  the  eve  of  the  council  in  the  tract  en- 
titled the  Union  of  the  Church  and  its  Reformation,  and  by 
other  writers.1  The  Church,  Nieheim  affirmed,  whose  head  is 
Christ,  cannot  err,  but  the  Church  as  a  commonwealth,  — 
respublica,  —  controlled  by  pope  and  hierarchy,  may  err. 
And  as  a  prince  who  does  not  seek  the  good  of  his  subjects 
may  be  deposed,  so  may  the  pope,  who  is  called  to  preside 
over  the  whole  Church.  .  .  .  The  pope  is  born  of  man,  born 
in  sin  —  clay  of  clay  —  limus  de  limo.  A  few  days  ago  the 
son  of  a  rustic,  and  now  raised  to  the  papal  throne,  he  is  not 
become  an  impeccable  angel.  It  is  not  his  office  that  makes 
him  holy,  but  the  grace  of  God.  He  is  not  infallible ;  and 
as  Christ,  who  was  without  sin,  was  subject  to  a  tribunal,  so 
is  the  pope.  It  is  absurd  to  say  that  a  mere  man  has  power 
in  heaven  and  on  earth  to  bind  and  loose  from  sin.  For  he 
may  be  a  simoniac,  a  liar,  a  fornicator,  proud,  and  worse 
than  the  devil  — pejor  quam  diabolus.  As  for  a  council,  the 
pope  is  under  obligation  to  submit  to  it  and,  if  necessary, 
to  resign  for  the  common  good — utilitatem  communem.  A 
general  council  may  be  called  by  the  prelates  and  temporal 
rulers,  and  is  superior  to  the  pope.  It  may  elect,  limit,  and 
depose  a  pope  —  and  from  its  decision  there  is  no  appeal  — 
potest  papam  eligere,  privare  et  deponere.  A  tali  concilia  nullus 
potest  appellare.  Its  canons  are  immutable,  except  as  they 
may  be  set  aside  by  another  oecumenical  council. 

These  views  were  revolutionary,  and  show  that  Marsiglius 
of  Padua,  and  other  tractarians  of  the  fourteenth  century, 
had  not  spoken  in  vain. 

Having  affirmed  its  superiority  over  the  pope,  the  council  pro- 

1  Hardt,  vol.  I.,  where  it  occupies  176  pp.  Du  Pin,  II.,  162-201.  This  tract, 
formerly  ascribed  to  Gerson,  Leuz  and  Finke  give  reason  for  regarding  as  the 
work  of  Nieheim. 


158  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

ceeded  to  try  John  XXIII.  on  seventy  charges,  which  included 
almost  every  crime  known  to  man.  He  had  been  unchaste 
from  his  youth,  had  been  given  to  lying,  was  disobedient  to 
his  parents.  He  was  guilty  of  simony,  bought  his  way  to 
the  cardinalate,  sold  the  same  benefices  over  and  over  again, 
sold  them  to  children,  disposed  of  the  head  of  John  the  Bap- 
tist, belonging  to  the  nuns  of  St.  Sylvester,  Rome,  to  Flor- 
ence, for  50,000  ducats,  made  merchandise  of  spurious 
bulls,  committed  adultery  with  his  brother's  wife,  violated 
nuns  and  other  virgins,  was  guilty  of  sodomy  and  other 
nameless  vices.1  As  for  doctrine,  he  had  often  denied  the 
future  life. 

When  John  received  the  notice  of  his  deposition,  which 
was  pronounced  May  29,  1415,  he  removed  the  papal  cross 
from  his  room  and  declared  he  regretted  ever  having  been 
elected  pope.  He  was  taken  to  Gottlieben,  a  castle  belong- 
ing to  the  bishop  of  Constance,  and  then  removed  to  the 
castle  at  Heidelberg,  where  two  chaplains  and  two  nobles 
were  assigned  to  serve  him.  From  Heidelberg  the  count 
Palatine  transferred  him  to  Mannheim,  and  finally  released 
him  on  the  payment  of  30,000  gulden.  John  submitted  to 
his  successor,  Martin  V.,  and  in  1419  was  appointed  cardinal 
bishop  of  Tusculum,  but  survived  the  appointment  only  six 
months.  John's  accomplice,  Frederick  of  Austria,  was  de- 
prived of  his  lands,  and  was  known  as  Frederick  of  the 
empty  purse  —  Friedrich  mit  der  leer  en  Tasche.  A  splendid 
monument  was  erected  to  John  in  the  baptistery  in  Florence 
by  Cosimo  de'  Medici,  who  had  managed  the  pope's  money 

affairs. 

. 

While  John's  case  was  being  decided,  the  trial  of  John  Huss 
was  under  way.  The  proceedings  and  the  tragedy  of  Huss' 
death  are  related  in  another  place. 

John  XXIII.  was  out  of  the  way.     Two  popes  remained, 

i  Hardt,  IV.  196-208  ;  Mansi,  XXVIII.  662-673,715.  Adam  of  Usk,  p.  806f 
says,  Our  pope,  John  XXIII.,  false  to  his  promises  of  union,  and  otherwise 
guilty  of  perjuries  and  murders,  adulteries,  simonies,  heresy,  and  other 
excesses,  and  for  that  he  twice  fled  in  secret,  and  cowardly,  in  vile  raiment, 
by  way  of  disguise,  was  delivered  to  perpetual  imprisonment  by  the  council. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OF   CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.         159 

Gregory  XII.  and  Benedict  XIII.,  who  were  facetiously  called 
in  tracts  and  addresses  Errorius^  a  play  on  Gregory's  patro- 
nymic, Angelo  Correr,1  and  Maledictua.  Gregory  promptly  re- 
signed, thus  respecting  his  promise  made  to  the  council  to  resign, 
provided  John  and  Benedict  should  be  set  aside.  He  also  had 
promised  to  recognize  the  council,  provided  the  emperor  should 
preside.  The  resignation  was  announced  at  the  fourteenth 
session,  July  4, 1415,  by  Charles  Malatesta  and  John  of  Ragusa, 
representing  the  Roman  pontiff.  Gregory's  bull,  dated  May 
15, 1414,  which  was  publicly  read,  "  convoked  and  authorized 
the  general  council  so  far  as  Balthazar  Cossa,  John  XXIII.,  is 
not  present  and  does  not  preside."  The  words  of  resignation 
ran,  "  I  resign,  in  the  name  of  the  Lord,  the  papacy,  and  all  its 
rights  and  title  and  all  the  privileges  conferred  upon  it  by 
the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  in  this  sacred  synod  and  universal 
council  representing  the  holy  Roman  and  universal  Church.2 
Gregory's  cardinals  now  took  their  seats,  and  Gregory  him- 
self was  appointed  cardinal-bishop  of  Porto  and  papal  legate 
of  Ancona.  He  died  at  Recanati,  near  Ancona,  Oct.  18, 1417. 
Much  condemnation  as  Angelo  Correr  deserves  for  having 
temporized  about  renouncing  the  papacy,  posterity  has  not 
withheld  from  him  respect  for  his  honorable  dealing  at  the 
close  of  his  career.  The  high  standing  of  his  cardinal,  John 
of  Ragusa,  did  much  to  make  men  forget  Gregory's  faults. 

Peter  de  Luna  was  of  a  different  mind.  Every  effort  was 
made  to  bring  him  into  accord  with  the  mind  of  the  council- 
men  in  the  Swiss  city,  but  in  vain.  In  order  to  bring  all 
the  influence  possible  to  bear  upon  him,  Sigismund,  at  the 
council's  instance,  started  on  the  journey  to  see  the  last  of 
the  Avignon  popes  face  to  face.  The  council,  at  its  sixteenth 
session,  July  11,  1415,  appointed  doctors  to  accompany  the 
king,  and  eight  days  afterwards  he  broke  away  from  Con- 
stance, accompanied  by  a  troop  of  4000  men  on  horse. 

Sigismund  and  Benedict  met  at  Narbonne,  Aug.  15,  and 
at  Perpignan,  the  negotiations  lasting  till  December.  The 

1  This  name  is  given  to  Gregory  constantly  by  Nieheim  in  his  De  schismate. 

2  The  document  is  given  in  Hardt,  IV.  360.    See,  for  the  various  documents, 
Hardt,  IV.  192  sq.,  846-381 ;  Mansi,  XXVII.  733-745. 


160  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

decree  of  deposition  pronounced  at  Pisa,  and  France's  with- 
drawal of  allegiance,  had  not  broken  the  spirit  of  the  old 
man.  His  dogged  tenacity  was  worthy  of  a  better  cause.1 
Among  the  propositions  the  pope  had  the  temerity  to  make 
was  that  he  would  resign  provided  that  he,  as  the  only  sur- 
viving cardinal  from  the  times  before  the  schism,  should  have 
liberty  to  follow  his  abdication  by  himself  electing  the  new 
pontiff.  Who  knows  but  that  one  who  was  so  thoroughly 
assured  of  his  own  infallibility  would  have  chosen  himself. 
Benedict  persisted  in  calling  the  Council  of  Constance  the 
"  congregation,"  or  assembly.  On  Nov.  14  he  fled  to  Peii- 
iscola,  a  rocky  promontory  near  Valencia,  again  condemned 
the  Swiss  synod,  and  summoned  a  legitimate  one  to  meet  in 
his  isolated  Spanish  retreat.  His  own  cardinals  were  weary 
of  the  conflict,  and  Dec.  13,  1415,  declared  him  deposed. 
His  long-time  supporter,  Vincent  Ferrer,  called  him  a  per- 
jurer. The  following  month  the  kingdom  of  Aragon,  which 
had  been  Benedict's  chief  support,  withdrew  from  his  obedi- 
ence and  was  followed  by  Castile  and  Scotland. 

Peter  de  Luna  was  now  as  thoroughly  isolated  as  any  mortal 
could  well  be.  The  council  demanded  his  unconditional  ab- 
dication, and  was  strengthened  by  the  admission  of  his  old 
supporters,  the  Spanish  delegates.  At  the  thirty-seventh  ses- 
sion,  1417,  he  was  deposed.  By  Sigismund's  command  the 
decision  was  announced  on  the  streets  of  Constance  by  trum- 
peters. But  the  indomitable  Spaniard  continued  to  defy  the 
synod's  sentence  till  his  death,  nine  years  later,  and  from  the 
lonely  citadel  of  Peniscola  to  sit  as  sovereign  of  Christendom. 
Cardinal  Hergenrother  concludes  his  description  of  these 
events  by  saying  that  Benedict  "  was  a  pope  without  a  church 
and  a  shepherd  without  sheep.  This  very  fact  proves  the 
emptiness  of  his  claims."  Benedict  died,  1423,2  leaving  be- 
hind him  four  cardinals.  Three  of  these  elected  the  canon, 
Gil  Sanduz  de  Munoz  of  Barcelona,  who  took  the  name  of 
Clement  VIII.  Five  years  later  Gil  resigned,  and  was  ap- 

1  Pastor,  Hefele,  and  Hergenrbther  call  it  stubbornness,  Hartndckigkeit. 
Dttllinger  is  more  favorable,  and  does  not  withhold  his  admiration  from  Peter. 
1  Valois,  IV.  450-464,  gives  strong  reasons  for  this  date  as  against  1424. 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL   OF  CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.         161 

pointed  by  Martin  V.  bishop  of  Majorca,  on  which  island  he 
was  a  pope  with  insular  jurisdiction.1  The  fourth  cardinal, 
Jean  Carrier,  elected  himself  pope,  and  took  the  name  of 
Benedict  XIV.  He  died  in  prison,  1433. 

It  remained  for  the  council  to  terminate  the  schism  of  years 
by  electing  a  new  pontiff  and  to  proceed  to  the  discussions  of 
Church  reforms.  At  the  fortieth  session,  Oct.  30,  1417,  it 
was  decided  to  postpone  the  second  item  until  after  the  elec- 
tion of  the  new  pope.  In  fixing  this  order  of  business,  the 
cardinals  had  a  large  influence.  There  was  a  time  in  the 
history  of  the  council  when  they  were  disparaged.  Tracts 
were  written  against  them,  and  the  king  at  one  time,  so  it 
was  rumored,  proposed  to  seize  them  all.2  But  that  time 
was  past;  they  had  kept  united,  and  their  influence  had 
steadily  grown. 

The  papal  vacancy  was  filled,  Nov.  11,  1417,  by  the  elec- 
tion of  Cardinal  Oddo  Colonna,  who  took  the  name  of  Mar- 
tin V.  The  election  was  consummated  in  the  Kaufhaus, 
the  central  commercial  building  of  Constance,  which  is  still 
standing.  Fifty-three  electors  participated,  6  deputies  from 
each  of  the  5  nations,  and  23  cardinals.  The  building  was 
walled  up  with  boards  and  divided  into  cells  for  the  electors. 
Entrance  was  had  by  a  single  door,  and  the  three  keys  were 
given,  one  to  the  king,  one  to  the  chapter  of  Constance,  and 
one  to  the  council.  When  it  became  apparent  that  an  election 
was  likely  to  be  greatly  delayed,  the  Germans  determined  to 
join  the  Italians  in  voting  for  an  Italian  to  avoid  suspicion 
that  advantage  was  taken  of  the  synod's  location  on  Ger- 
man soil.  The  Germans  then  secured  the  co-operation  of  the 
English,  and  finally  the  French  and  Spaniards  also  yielded.8 
The  pope-elect  was  thus  the  creature  of  the  council. 

1  Mansi,  XXVIII.  1117  sqq.,  gives  Clement's  letter  of  abdication.    For  an 
account  of  Benedict's  two  successors  and  their  election,  see  Valois,  IV.  455-478. 

2  Fillastre's  Journal,  p.  224.    For  the  tracts  hostile  to  the  cardinals,  see 
Finke,  Forschungen,  p.  81  sq. 

8  Richental,  p.  116  sqq.,  gives  a  detailed  account  of  the  walling  up  of  the 
Kaufhaus  and  the  election,  and  of  the  ceremonies  attending  Martin's  corona- 
tion. He  also,  p.  123,  tells  the  pretty  story  that,  before  the  electors  met, 
ravens,  jackdaws,  and  other  birds  of  the  sort  gathered  in  great  numbers  on  the 


162  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

The  Western  Church  was  again  unified  under  one  head. 
But  for  the  deep-seated  conviction  of  centuries,  the  office  of 
the  universal  papacy  would  scarcely  have  survived  the  strain 
of  the  schism.1  Oddo  Colonna,  the  only  member  of  his  dis- 
tinguished house  who  has  worn  the  tiara,  was  a  subdeacon  at 
the  time  of  his  election.  Even  more  hastily  than  Photius, 
patriarch  of  Constantinople,  was  he  rushed  through  the  ordi- 
nation of  deacon,  Nov.  12,  of  priest,  Nov.  13,  and  bishop, 
Nov.  14.  He  was  consecrated  pope  a  week  later,  Nov.  21, 
Sigismund  kissing  his  toe.  In  the  procession,  the  bridles 
of  Martin's  horse  were  held  by  Sigismund  and  Frederick 
the  Hohenzollern,  lately  created  margrave  of  Branden- 
burg. The  margrave  had  paid  Sigismund  250,000  marks  as 
the  price  of  his  elevation,  a  sum  which  the  king  used  to 
defray  the  expenses  of  his  visit  to  Benedict. 

Martin  at  once  assumed  the  presidency  of  the  council  which 
since  John's  flight  had  been  filled  by  Cardinal  Viviers. 
Measures  of  reform  were  now  the  order  of  the  day  and 
some  headway  was  made.  The  papal  right  of  granting  in- 
dulgences was  curtailed.  The  college  of  cardinals  was  limited 
to  24,  with  the  stipulation  that  the  different  parts  of  the 
church  should  have  a  proportionate  representation,  that  no 
monastic  order  should  have  more  than  a  single  member  in 
the  college,  and  that  no  cardinal's  brother  or  nephew  should 
be  raised  to  the  curia  so  long  as  the  cardinal  was  living. 
Schedules  and  programmes  enough  were  made,  but  the  ques- 
tion of  reform  involved  abuses  of  such  long  standing  and  so 
deeply  intrenched  that  it  was  found  impossible  to  reconcile 
the  differences  of  opinion  prevailing  in  the  council  and  bring 
it  to  promptness  of  action.  After  sitting  for  more  than  three 
years,  the  delegates  were  impatient  to  get  away. 

As  a  substitute  for  further  legislation,  the  so-called  con- 
roof  of  the  Kaufhaus,  but  that  as  soon  as  Martin  was  elected,  thousands  of 
greenfinches  and  other  little  birds  took  their  places  and  chattered  and  sang 
and  hopped  about  as  if  approving  what  had  been  done. 

1  Catholic  historians  regard  the  survival  of  the  papacy  as  a  proof  of  its 
divine  origin.  Salembier,  p.  895,  says,  "  The  history  of  the  great  Schism 
would  have  dealt  a  mortal  blow  to  the  papacy  if  Christ's  promises  had  not 
made  it  immortal." 


§  16.      THE  COUNCIL  OP  CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.        163 

cordats  were  arranged.  These  agreements  were  intended  to 
regulate  the  relations  of  the  papacy  and  the  nations  one  with 
the  other.  There  were  four  of  these  distinct  compacts,  one 
with  the  French,  and  one  with  the  German  nations,  each  to  be 
valid  for  five  years,  one  with  the  English  to  be  perpetual,  dated 
July  21,  1418,  and  one  with  the  Spanish  nation,  dated  May  13, 
1418. l  These  concordats  set  forth  rules  for  the  appointment 
of  the  cardinals  and  the  restriction  of  their  number,  limited 
the  right  of  papal  reservations  and  the  collection  of  annates 
and  direct  taxes,  determined  what  causes  might  be  appealed  to 
Rome,  and  took  up  other  questions.  They  were  the  foundation 
of  the  system  of  secret  or  open  treaties  by  which  the  papacy 
has  since  regulated  its  relations  with  the  nations  of  Europe. 
Gregory  VII.  was  the  first  pope  to  extend  the  system  of  papal 
legates,  but  he  and  his  successors  had  dealt  with  nations  on 
the  arbitrary  principle  of  papal  supremacy  and  infallibility. 
The  action  of  the  Council  of  Constance  lifted  the  state  to 
some  measure  of  equality  with  the  papacy  in  the  administra- 
tion of  Church  affairs.  It  remained  for  Louis  XIV.,  1643- 
1715,  to  assert  more  fully  the  Galilean  theory  of  the  authority 
of  the  state  to  manage  the  affairs  of  the  Church  within  its  ter- 
ritory, so  far  as  matters  of  doctrine  were  not  touched.  The 
first  decisive  step  in  the  assertion  of  Gallican  liberties  was  the 
synodal  action  of  1407,  when  France  withdrew  from  the 
obedience  of  Benedict  XIII.  By  this  action  the  chapters 
were  to  elect  their  own  bishops,  and  the  pope  was  restrained 
from  levying  taxes  on  their  sees.  Then  followed  the  compact 
of  the  Council  of  Constance,  the  Pragmatic  Sanction  adopted 
at  Bourges,  1438,  and  the  concordat  agreed  upon  between 
Francis  I.  and  Leo  X.  at  the  time  of  the  Reformation.  In 
1682  the  French  prelates  adopted  four  propositions,  restricting 
the  pope's  authority  to  spirituals,  a  power  which  is  limited 
by  the  decision  of  the  Council  of  Constance,  and  by  the  prec- 
edents of  the  Gallican  Church,  and  declaring  that  even  in 
matters  of  faith  the  pope  is  not  infallible.  Although  Louis, 

1  See  Mirbt,  art.  Konkordat,  in  Herzog,  X.  705  sqq.  Hardt  gives  the  con- 
cordats with  Germany  and  England,  I.  1056-1088,  and  France,  IV.  155  sqq. 
Mansi,  XXVIL  1189  sqq.,  1108  sqq. 


164  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

who  gave  his  authority  to  these  articles,  afterwards  revoked 
them,  they  remain  a  platform  of  Gallicanism  as  against  the 
ultramontane  theory  of  the  infallibility  and  supreme  authority 
of  the  pope,  and  may  furnish  in  the  future  the  basis  of  a  settle- 
ment of  the  papal  question  in  the  Catholic  communion.1 

In  the  deliverance  known  as  Frequens,  passed  Oct.  9, 1417, 
the  council  decreed  that  a  general  council  should  meet  in 
five  years,  then  in  seven  years,  and  thereafter  perpetually 
every  ten  years.2  This  action  was  prompted  by  Martin  in 
the  bull  Frequent^  Oct.  9,  1417.  On  completing  its  forty- 
fifth  session  it  was  adjourned  by  Martin,  April  22,  1418. 
The  Basel-Ferrara  and  the  Tridentine  councils  sat  a  longer 
time,  as  did  also  the  Protestant  Westminster  Assembly, 
1643-1648.  Before  breaking  away  from  Constance,  the  pope 
granted  Sigismund  a  tenth  for  one  year  to  reimburse  him  for 
the  expense  he  had  been  to  on  account  of  the  synod. 

The  Council  of  Constance  was  the  most  important  synod  of 
the  Middle  Ages,  and  more  fairly  represented  the  sentiments 
of  Western  Christendom  than  any  other  council  which  has 
ever  sat.  It  furnished  an  arena  of  free  debate  upon  inter- 
ests whose  importance  was  felt  by  all  the  nations  of  Western 
Europe,  and  which  united  them.  It  was  not  restricted  by 
a  programme  prepared  by  a  pope,  as  the  Vatican  council  of 
1870  was.  It  had  freedom  and  exercised  it.  While  the 
dogma  of  transubstantiation  enacted  by  the  4th  Lateran, 
1215,  and  the  dogma  of  papal  infallibility  passed  by  the 
Vatican  council  injected  elements  of  permanent  division  into 
the  Church,  the  Council  of  Constance  unified  Latin  Christen- 
dom and  ended  the  schism  which  had  been  a  cause  of  scandal 
for  forty  years.  The  validity  of  its  decree  putting  an  oecu- 
menical council  above  the  pope,  after  being  disputed  for  cen- 
turies, was  officially  set  aside  by  the  conciliar  vote  of  1870. 
For  Protestants  the  decision  at  Constance  is  an  onward  step 

1  See  art.  GMllikanismus,   in   Herzog,  and    Der  Ursprung  der  gallikan. 
Freiheiten,  in  Hist.  Zeitschrift,  1903,  pp.  194-215. 

2  Creigbton,  I.  393,  after  giving  the  proper  citation  from  Hardt,  IV.  1432, 
makes  the  mistake  of  saying  that  the  next  council  was  appointed  for  seven 
years,  and  the  succeeding  councils  every  five  years  thereafter. 


§  16.      THE   COUNCIL  OF   CONSTANCE.      1414-1418.         165 

towards  a  right  definition  of  the  final  seat  of  religious 
authority.  It  remained  for  Luther,  forced  to  the  wall  by 
Eck  at  Leipzig,  and  on  the  ground  of  the  error  committed 
by  the  Council  of  Constance,  in  condemning  the  godly  man, 
John  Huss,  to  deny  the  infallibility  of  councils  and  to  place 
the  seat  of  infallible  authority  in  the  Scriptures,  as  inter- 
preted by  conscience. 

Note  on  the  (Ecumenical  Character  of  the  Council  of  Constance. 

Modern  Roman  Catholic  historians  deny  the  oecumenical  character  and 
authority  of  the  Council  of  Constance,  except  its  four  last,  42d-45th  sessions, 
which  were  presided  over  hy  Pope  Martin  V.,  or  at  least  all  of  it  till  the  mo- 
ment of  Gregory  XII. 's  bull  giving  to  the  council  his  approval,  that  is,  after 
John  had  fled  and  ceased  to  preside.  Ilergenrother-Kirsch,  II.  862,  says 
that  before  Gregory's  authorization  the  council  was  without  a  head,  did  not 
represent  the  Roman  Church,  and  sat  against  the  will  of  the  cardinals,  by 
whom  he  meant  Gregory's  cardinals.  Salembier,  p.  317,  says,  H  n'est  devenu 
cecumtiniqite  qu'apres  la  trente-cinquieme  session,  lorsque  Gregoire  XII.  eut 
donne  sa  demission,  etc.  Pastor,  I.  198  sq.,  warmly  advocates  the  same 
view,  and  declares  that  when  the  council  in  its  4th  and  5th  sessions  announced 
its  superiority  over  the  pope,  it  was  not  yet  an  oecumenical  gathering. 
This  dogma,  he  says,  was  intended  to  set  up  a  new  principle  which  revolu- 
tionized the  old  Catholic  doctrine  of  the  Church.  Philip  Hergenrother,  in 
Katholiaches  Kirchenrecht,  p.  344  sq.,  expresses  the  same  judgment.  The 
council  was  not  a  legitimate  council  till  after  Gregory's  resignation. 

The  wisdom  of  the  council  in  securing  the  resignation  of  Gregory  and  de- 
posing John  and  Benedict  is  not  questioned.  The  validity  of  its  act  in  elect- 
ing Martin  V.,  though  the  papal  regulation  limiting  the  right  of  voting  to  the 
cardinals  was  set  aside,  is  also  acknowledged  on  the  ground  that  the  council 
at  the  time  of  Martin's  election  was  sitting  by  Gregory's  sanction,  and  Greg- 
ory was  true  pope  until  he  abdicated. 

A  serious  objection  to  the  view,  setting  aside  this  action  of  the  4th  and 
6th  sessions,  is  offered  by  the  formal  statement  made  by  Martin  V.  At  the 
final  meeting  of  the  council  and  after  its  adjournment  had  been  pronounced, 
a  tumultuous  discussion  was  precipitated  over  the  tract  concerning  the  affairs 
of  Poland  and  Lithuania  by  the  Dominican,  Falkenberg,  which  was  written 
in  defence  of  the  Teutonic  Knights,  and  justified  the  killing  of  the  Polish 
king  and  all  his  subjects.  It  had  been  the  subject  of  discussion  in  the  nations, 
and  its  heresies  were  declared  to  be  so  glaring  that,  if  they  remained  uncon- 
demned  by  the  council,  that  body  would  go  down  to  posterity  as  defective  in 
its  testimony  for  orthodoxy.  It  was  during  the  tumultuous  debate,  and  after 
Martin  had  adjourned  the  council,  that  he  uttered  the  words  which,  on  their 
face,  sanction  whatever  was  done  in  council  in  a  conciliar  way.  Putting  an 
end  to  the  tumult,  he  announced  he  would  maintain  all  the  decrees  passed 
by  the  council  in  matters  of  faith  in  a  conciliar  way  —  omnia  et  singula 


166  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

determinate  et  conclusa  et  decreta  in  materiis  fidei  per  prcesens  sacrum  con- 
cilium generate  Constantiense  conciliariter  tenere  et  inviolabiliter  observare 
volebat  et  nunquam  contravenire  quoquomodo.  Moreover,  he  announced  that 
he  sanctioned  and  ratified  acts  made  in  a  "  conciliar  way  and  not  made  other- 
wise or  in  any  other  way.1'  Ipsaque  sic  conciliariter  facta  approbat  papa 
et  ratificat  et  non  aliter  nee  alio  modo.  Funk,  Martin  V.  und  das  Konzil  zu 
Konstanz  in  Abhandlungen,  I.  489  sqq.,  Hefele,  Concilienyesch.,  I.  52,  and 
Kupper,  in  Wetzer-Welte,  VII.  1004  sqq.,  restrict  the  application  of  these 
words  to  the  Falkenberg  incident.  Funk,  however,  by  a  narrow  interpreta- 
tion of  the  words  "  in  matters  of  faith,"  excludes  the  acts  of  the  4th  and  6th 
sessions  from  the  pope's  approval.  Dollinger  (p.  464),  contends  that  the  ex- 
pression conciliariter,  "in  a  conciliar  way,"  is  opposed  to  nationaliter,  •*  in 
the  nations."  The  expression  is  to  he  taken  in  its  simple  meaning,  and  refers 
to  what  was  done  by  the  council  as  a  council. 

The  only  other  statement  made  by  Martin  bearing  upon  the  question 
occurs  in  his  bull  Frequens,  of  Feb.  22,  1418,  in  which  he  recognized  the 
council  as  oecumenical,  and  declared  its  decrees  binding  which  pertained  to 
faith  and  the  salvation  of  souls  —  quod  sacrum  concilium  Constant.,  aniver- 
salem  ecclesiam  representans  approbavit  et  approbat  in  favorem  fidei  et  salu- 
tem  animarum,  quod  hoc  est  ab  universis  Christi  ftdelibus  approbandum  et 
tenendum.  Hefele  and  Funk  show  that  this  declaration  was  not  meant  to 
exclude  matters  which  were  not  of  faith,  for  Martin  expressly  approved 
other  matters,  such  as  those  passed  upon  in  the  30th  session.  There  is  no 
record  that  Martin  at  any  time  said  anything  to  throw  light  upon  his  mean- 
ing in  these  two  utterances. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  fifteenth  century,  as  Raynaldus,  an.  1418,  shows, 
the  view  came  to  expression  that  Martin  expressly  intended  to  except  the 
action  of  the  4th  and  5th  sessions  from  his  papal  approval. 

Martin  V.'B  successor,  Eugenius  IV.,  in  144(5,  thirty  years  after  the  synod, 
asserted  that  its  decrees  were  to  be  accepted  so  far  as  they  did  not  prejudice 
the  law,  dignity,  and  pre-eminence  of  the  Apostolic  See  —  absquc  tamen  prce- 
judicio  juris  et  dignitatis  et  proeeminentias  Apost.  sedis.  The  papacy  had  at 
that  time  recovered  its  prestige,  and  the  supreme  pontiff  felt  himself  strong 
enough  to  openly  reassert  the  superiority  of  the  Apostolic  See  over  oacumeni- 
cal  councils.  But  before  that  time,  in  a  bull  issued  Dec.  13,  1443,  he  for- 
mally accepted  the  acts  of  the  Council  of  Basel,  the  most  explicit  of  which 
was  the  reaffirmation  of  the  acts  of  the  Council  of  Constance  in  its  4th  and 
5th  sessions. 

It  occurs  to  a  Protestant  that  the  Council  of  Constance  would  hardly  have 
elected  Oddo  Colonna  pope  if  he  had  been  suspected  of  being  opposed  to  the 
council's  action  concerning  its  own  superiority.  The  council  would  have 
stultified  itself  in  appointing  a  man  to  undo  what  it  had  solemnly  done.  And 
for  him  to  have  denied  its  authority  would  have  been,  as  Dollinger  says 
(p.  159),  like  a  son  denying  his  parentage.  The  emphasis  which  recent 
Catholic  historians  lay  upon  Gregory's  authorization  of  the  synod  as  giving 
it  for  the  first  time  an  oecumenical  character  is  an  easy  way  out  of  the  diffi- 
culty, and  this  view  forces  the  recognition  of  the  Roman  line  of  popes  as 
the  legitimate  successors  of  St.  Peter  during  the  years  of  the  schism. 


§  17.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  BASEL.      1481-1449.  167 

§  17.     The  Council  of  Basel.     1431-1449. 

Martin  V.  proved  himself  to  be  a  capable  and  judicious 
ruler,  with  courage  enough  when  the  exigency  arose.  He 
left  Constance  May  16,  1418.  Sigismund,  who  took  his  de- 
parture the  following  week,  offered  him  as  his  papal  residence 
Basel,  Strassburg,  or  Frankfurt.  France  pressed  the  claims 
of  Avignon,  but  a  Colon  na  could  think  of  no  other  city  than 
Rome,  and  proceeding  by  the  way  of  Bern,  Geneva,  Mantua, 
and  Florence,  he  entered  the  Eternal  City  Sept.  28,  1420.  1 
The  delay  was  due  to  the  struggle  being  carried  on  for  its 
possession  by  the  forces  of  Joanna  of  Naples  under  Sforza, 
and  the  bold  chieftain  Braccio.2  Martin  secured  the  with- 
drawal of  Joanna's  claims  by  recognizing  that  princess  as 
queen  of  Naples,  and  pacified  Braccio  by  investing  him  with 
Assisi,  Perugia,  Jesi,  and  Todi. 

Rome  was  in  a  desolate  condition  when  Martin  reached  it, 
the  prey  of  robbers,  its  streets  filled  with  refuse  and  stag- 
nant water,  its  bridges  decayed,  and  many  of  its  churches 
without  roofs.  Cattle  and  sheep  were  herded  in  the  spaces 
of  St.  Paul's.  Wolves  attacked  the  inhabitants  within  the 
walls.8  With  Martin's  arrival  a  new  era  was  opened.  This 
pope  rid  the  city  of  robbers,  so  that  persons  carrying  gold 
might  go  with  safety  even  beyond  the  walls.  He  restored 
the  Lateran,  and  had  it  floored  with  a  new  pavement.  He 
repaired  the  porch  of  St.  Peter's,  and  provided  it  with  a  new 
roof  at  a  cost  of  50,000  gold  gulden.  Revolutions  within 
the  city  ceased.  Martin  deserves  to  be  honored  as  one  of 
Rome's  leading  benefactors.  His  pontificate  was  an  era  of 
peace  after  years  of  constant  strife  and  bloodshed  due  to  fac- 
tions within  the  walls  and  invaders  from  without.  With 
him  its  mediaeval  history  closes,  and  an  age  of  restoration 
and  progress  begins.  The  inscription  on  Martin's  tomb  in 
the  Lateran,  "  the  Felicity  of  his  Times,"  —  temporum  suorum 
expresses  the  debt  Rome  owes  to  him. 


1  Richental,  pp.  149  sqq.  2  Infessura,  p.  21. 

8  Five  large  wolves  were  killed  in  the  Vatican  gardens,  Jan.  23,  1411. 
Gregorovius,  VI.  018. 


168  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Among  the  signs  of  Martin's  interest  in  religion  was  his 
order  securing  the  transfer  to  Rome  of  some  of  the  bones  of 
Monica,  the  mother  of  Augustine,  and  his  bull  canonizing 
her.  On  their  reception,  Martin  made  a  public  address  in 
which  he  said,  "  Since  we  possess  St.  Augustine,  what  do 
we  care  for  the  shrewdness  of  Aristotle,  the  eloquence  of 
Plato,  the  reputation  of  Pythagoras  ?  These  men  we  do  not 
need.  Augustine  is  enough.  If  we  want  to  know  the  truth, 
learning,  and  religion,  where  shall  we  find  one  more  wise, 
learned,  and  holy  than  St.  Augustine  ?  " 

As  for  the  promises  of  Church  reforms  made  at  Constance, 
Martin  paid  no  attention  to  them,  and  the  explanation  made 
by  Pastor,  that  his  time  was  occupied  with  the  government 
of  Rome  and  the  improvement  of  the  city,  is  not  sufficient 
to  exculpate  him.  The  old  abuses  in  the  disposition  and 
sale  of  offices  continued.  The  pope  had  no  intention  of 
yielding  up  the  monarchical  claims  of  the  papal  office.  Nor 
did  he  forget  his  relatives.  One  brother,  Giordano,  was 
made  duke  of  Amain,  and  another,  Lorenzo,  count  of  Alba. 
One  of  his  nephews,  Prospero,  he  invested  with  the  purple, 
1426.  He  also  secured  large  tracts  of  territory  for  his 
house.1 

The  council,  appointed  by  Martin  at  Constance  to  meet 
in  Pavia,  convened  April,  1423,  was  sparsely  attended,  ad- 
journed on  account  of  the  plague  to  Siena,  and,  after  con- 
demning the  errors  of  Wyclif  and  Huss,  was  dissolved 
March  7,  1424.  Martin  and  his  successors  feared  councils, 
and  it  was  their  policy  to  prevent,  if  possible,  their  assem- 
bling, by  all  sorts  of  excuses  and  delays.  Why  should  the 
pope  place  himself  in  a  position  to  hear  instructions  and  re- 
ceive commands  ?  However,  Martin  could  not  be  altogether 
deaf  to  the  demands  of  Christendom,  or  unmindful  of  his 
pledge  given  at  Constance.  Placards  were  posted  up  in 
Rome  threatening  him  if  he  summoned  a  council.  Under 
constraint  and  not  of  free  will,  he  appointed  the  second 

1  Pastor,  I.  227,  Martin's  warm  admirer,  passes  lightly  over  the  pope's 
nepotism  with  the  remark  that  in  this  regard  he  overstepped  the  line  of  pro- 
priety—  er  hat  das  Mass  des  Erlaubten  tiberschritten. 


§  17.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  BASEL.      1431-1449.  169 

council,  which  was  to  meet  in  seven  years  at  Basel,  1431,  but 
he  died  the  same  year,  before  the  time  set  for  its  assembling. 

Eugenius  IV.,  the  next  occupant  of  the  papal  throne, 
1431-1447,  a  Venetian,  had  been  made  bishop  of  Siena  by 
his  maternal  uncle,  Gregory  XII.,  at  the  age  of  twenty-four, 
and  soon  afterwards  was  elevated  to  the  curia.  His  pontifi- 
cate was  chiefly  occupied  with  the  attempt  to  assert  the 
supremacy  of  the  papacy  against  the  conciliar  theory.  It  also 
witnessed  the  most  notable  effort  ever  made  for  the  union  of 
the  Greeks  with  the  Western  Church. 

By  an  agreement  signed  in  the  conclave  which  elevated 
Eugenius,  the  cardinals  promised  that  the  successful  candi- 
date should  advance  the  interests  of  the  impending  general 
council,  follow  the  decrees  of  the  Council  of  Constance  in 
appointing  cardinals,  consult  the  sacred  college  in  matters 
of  papal  administration,  and  introduce  Church  reforms. 
Such  a  compact  had  been  signed  by  the  conclave  which 
elected  Innocent  VI.,  1352,  and  similar  compacts  by  almost 
every  conclave  after  Eugenius  down  to  the  Reformation, 
but  all  with  no  result,  for,  as  soon  as  the  election  was  con- 
summated, the  pope  set  the  agreement  aside  and  pursued  his 
own  course. 

On  the  day  set  for  the  opening  of  the  council  in  Basel, 
March  7,  1431,  only  a  single  prelate  was  present,  the  abbot 
of  Vezelay.  The  formal  opening  occurred  July  23,  but 
Cardinal  Cesarini,  who  had  been  appointed  by  Martin  and 
Eugenius  to  preside,  did  not  appear  till  Sept.  9.  He  was 
detained  by  his  duties  as  papal  legate  to  settle  the  Hussite 
insurrection  in  Bohemia.  Sigismund  sent  Duke  William  of 
Bavaria  as  protector,  and  the  attendance  speedily  grew.  The 
number  of  doctors  present  was  larger  in  comparison  to  the 
number  of  prelates  than  at  Constance.  A  member  of  the 
council  said  that  out  of  500  members  he  scarcely  saw  20 
bishops.  The  rest  belonged  to  the  lower  orders  of  the  clergy, 
or  were  laymen.  "  Of  old,  bishops  had  settled  the  affairs  of 
the  Church,  but  now  the  common  herd  does  it."1  The  most 
interesting  personage  in  the  convention  was  -/Eneas  Sylvius 

1  Traversari,  as  quoted  by  Creighton,  1. 128. 


170  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

Piccolomini,  who  came  to  Basel  as  Cardinal  Capranica's 
secretary.  He  sat  on  some  of  its  important  commissions. 

The  tasks  set  before  the  council  were  the  completion  of 
the  work  of  Constance  in  instituting  reforms,1  and  a  peaceful 
settlement  of  the  Bohemian  heresy.  Admirable  as  its  effort 
was  in  both  directions,  it  failed  of  papal  favor,  and  the  synod 
was  turned  into  a  constitutional  battle  over  papal  absolutism 
and  conciliar  supremacy.  This  battle  was  fought  with  the 
pen  as  well  as  in  debate.  Nicolas  of  Cusa,  representing 
the  scholastic  element,  advocated,  in  1433,  the  supremacy  of 
councils  in  his  Concordantia  catholica.  The  Dominican,  John 
of  Turrecremata,  took  the  opposite  view,  and  defended  the 
doctrine  of  papal  infallibility  in  his  Summa  de  ecclesia  et  ejus 
auctoritate.  For  years  the  latter  writing  was  the  classical 
authority  for  the  papal  pretension. 

The  business  was  performed  not  by  nations  but  by  four 
committees,  each  composed  of  an  equal  number  of  representa- 
tives from  the  four  nations  and  elected  for  a  month.  When 
they  agreed  on  any  subject,  it  was  brought  before  the  council 
in  public  session. 

It  soon  became  evident  that  the  synod  acknowledged  no 
earthly  authority  above  itself,  and  was  in  no  mood  to  hear  the 
contrary  principle  defended.  On  the  other  hand,  Eugenius 
was  not  ready  to  tolerate  free  discussion  and  the  synod's  self- 
assertion,  and  took  the  unfortunate  step  of  proroguing  the 
synod  to  Bologna,  making  the  announcement  at  a  meeting  of  the 
cardinals,  Dec.  18,  1431.  The  bull  was  made  public  at  Basel 
four  weeks  later,  and  made  an  intense  sensation.  The  synod 
was  quick  to  give  its  answer,  and  decided  to  continue  its  sit- 
tings. This  was  revolution,  but  the  synod  had  the  nations 
and  public  opinion  back  of  it,  as  well  as  the  decrees  of  the 
Council  of  Constance.  It  insisted  upon  the  personal  presence 
of  Eugenius,  and  on  Feb.  15, 1432,  declared  for  its  own  sover- 
eignty and  that  a  general  council  might  not  be  prorogued  or 
transferred  by  a  pope  without  its  own  consent. 

In  the  meantime  Sigismund  had  received  the  iron  crown  at 

1  Ob  reformationem  eccles.  Dei  in  capite  et  membris  spedaliter  congregatur, 
Mansi,  XXIX.  105,  etc. 


§  17.      THE   COUNCIL  OF   BASEL.      1481-1449.  171 

Milan,  Nov.  25,  1431.  He  was  at  this  period  a  strong  sup- 
porter of  the  council's  claims.  A  French  synod,  meeting  at 
Bourges  early  in  1432,  gave  its  sanction  to  them,  and  the 
University  of  Paris  wrote  that  Eugenius'  decree  transferring 
the  council  was  a  suggestion  of  the  devil.  Becoming  more 
bold,  the  council,  at  its  third  session,  April  29,  1432,  called 
upon  the  pope  to  revoke  his  bull  and  be  present  in  person.  At 
its  fourth  session,  June  20,  it  decreed  that,  in  case  the  papal 
office  became  vacant,  the  election  to  fill  the  vacancy  should  be 
held  in  Basel  and  that,  so  long  as  Eugenius  remained  away 
from  Basel,  he  should  be  denied  the  right  to  create  any  more 
cardinals.  The  council  went  still  farther,  proceeded  to 
arraign  the  pope  for  contumacy,  and  on  Dec.  18  gave  him  60 
days  in  which  to  appear,  on  pain  of  having  formal  proceedings 
instituted  against  him. 

Sigismund,  who  was  crowned  emperor  in  Rome  the  following 
Spring,  May  31, 1433,  was  not  prepared  for  such  drastic  action. 
He  was  back  again  in  Basel  in  October,  but,  with  the  emperor 
present  or  absent,  the  council  continued  on  its  course,  and 
repeatedly  reaffirmed  its  superior  authority,  quoting  the  dec- 
larations of  the  Council  of  Constance  at  its  fourth  and  fifth 
sessions.  The  voice  of  Western  Christendom  was  against 
Eugenius,  as  were  the  most  of  his  cardinals.  Under  the  stress 
of  this  opposition,  and  pressed  by  the  revolution  threatening 
his  authority  in  Rome,  the  pope  gave  way,  and  in  the  decree 
of  Dec.  13,  1433,  revoked  his  three  bulls,  beginning  with 
Dec.  18, 1431,  which  adjourned  the  synod.  He  asserted  he  had 
acted  with  the  advice  of  the  cardinals,  but  now  pronounced 
and  declared  the  "  General  Council  of  Basel  legitimate  from 
the  time  of  its  opening."  Any  utterance  or  act  prejudicial  to 
the  holy  synod  or  derogatory  to  its  authority,  which  had  pro- 
ceeded from  him,  he  revoked,  annulled,  and  pronounced  utterly 
void.1  At  the  same  time  the  pope  appointed  legates  to  pre- 

1  Decernimus  et  declaramus  generate  concil.  Basileense  a  tempore  in- 
choationis  suce  legitime  continuatum  fuisse  et  esse  .  .  .  quidquid  per  nos  aut 
nostro  nomine  in  prejudicium  et  derogationem  sacri  concil.  Basileensis  seu 
contra  ejus  auctoritatem  factum  et  attentatum  seu  assertum  e8t,caasamu8,  re- 
vocamus,  irritamus  et  annullamus,  nullas,  irritas  fuisse  et  ease  declaramus, 
Mansi,  XXIX.  78. 


172  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617, 

side,  and  they  were  received  by  the  synod.  They  sworexin 
their  own  names  to  accept  and  defend  its  decrees. 

No  revocation  of  a  former  decree  could  have  been  made 
more  explicit.  The  Latin  vocabulary  was  strained  for 
words.  Catholic  historians  refrain  from  making  an  argu- 
ment against  the  plain  meaning  of  the  bull,  which  is  fatal 
to  the  dogma  of  papal  inerrancy  and  acknowledges  the  su- 
periority of  general  councils.  At  best  they  pass  the  decree 
with  as  little  comment  as  possible,  or  content  themselves 
with  the  assertion  that  Eugenius  had  no  idea  of  con- 
firming the  synod's  reaffinnation  of  the  famous  decrees  of 
Constance,  or  with  the  suggestion  that  the  pope  was  under 
duress  when  he  issued  the  document.1  Both  assumptions 
are  without  warrant.  The  pope  made  no  exception  what- 
ever when  he  confirmed  the  acts  of  the  synod  "  from  its 
opening."  As  for  the  explanation  that  the  decree  was 
forced,  it  needs  only  to  be  said  that  the  revolt  made  against 
the  pope  in  Rome,  May,  1434,  in  which  the  Colonna  took  a 
prominent  part,  had  not  yet  broken  out,  and  there  was  no 
compulsion  except  that  which  conies  from  the  judgment 
that  one's  case  has  failed.  Cesarini,  Nicolas  of  Cusa, 
JSneas  Sylvius,  John,  patriarch  of  Antioch,  and  the  other 
prominent  personages  at  Basel,  favored  the  theory  of  the 
supreme  authority  of  councils,  and  they  and  the  synod  would 
have  resented  the  papal  deliverance  if  they  had  surmised 
its  utterances  meant  something  different  from  what  they  ex- 
pressly stated.  Dollinger  concludes  his  treatment  of  the  sub- 
ject by  saying  that  Eugenius'  bull  was  the  most  positive  and 
unequivocal  recognition  possible  of  the  sovereignty  of  the 
council,  and  that  the  pope  was  subject  to  it. 

Eugenius  was  the  last  pope,  with  the  exception  of  Pius 
IX.,  who  has  had  to  flee  from  Rome.  Twenty-five  popes 
had  been  obliged  to  escape  from  the  city  before  him.  Dis- 
guised in  the  garb  of  a  Benedictine  monk,  and  carried  part 

1  So  Hergenrather-Kirsch,  II.  919,  Pastor,  I.  288,  etc.  Funk,  Kirchen- 
gesch.,  p.  374,  with  his  usual  fairness,  says  that  Eugenius  in  his  bull  gave 
unconditional  assent  to  the  council.  So  verstand  er  sich  endlich  zur  unbe- 
dingten  Annahme  der  Synode. 


§  17.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  BASEL.      1431-1449.  173 

« 

of  the  way  on  the  shoulders  of  a  sailor,  he  reached  a  boat  on 
the  Tiber,  but  was  recognized  and  pelted  with  a  shower  of 
stones,  from  which  he  escaped  by  lying  flat  in  the  boat, 
covered  with  a  shield.  Reaching  Ostia,  he  took  a  galley  to 
Livorno.  From  there  he  went  to  Florence.  He  remained 
in  exile  from  1434  to  1443. 

In  its  efforts  to  pacify  the  Hussites,  the  synod  granted 
them  the  use  of  the  cup,  and  made  other  concessions.  The 
causes  of  their  opposition  to  the  Church  had  been  expressed 
in  the  four  articles  of  Prag.  The  synod  introduced  an  al- 
together new  method  of  dealing  with  heretics  in  guarantee- 
ing to  the  Hussites  and  their  representatives  full  rights  of 
discussion.  Having  settled  the  question  of  its  own  author- 
ity, the  synod  took  up  measures  to  reform  the  Church 
"  in  head  and  members."  The  number  of  the  cardinals  was 
restricted  to  24,  and  proper  qualifications  insisted  upon,  a 
measure  sufficiently  needed,  as  Eugenius  had  given  the  red 
hat  to  two  of  his  nephews.  Annates,  payments  for  the  pal- 
lium, the  sale  of  church  dignities,  and  other  taxes  which  the 
Apostolic  See  had  developed,  were  abolished.  The  right  of 
appeal  to  Rome  was  curtailed.  Measures  of  another  nature 
were  the  reaffirmation  of  the  law  of  priestly  celibacy,1  and  the 
prohibition  of  theatricals  and  other  entertainments  in  church 
buildings  and  churchyards.  In  1439  the  synod  issued  a 
decree  on  the  immaculate  conception,  by  which  Mary  was 
declared  to  have  always  been  free  from  original  and  actual 
sin.2  The  interference  with  the  papal  revenues  affecting  the 
entire  papal  household  was,  in  a  measure,  atoned  for  by  the 
promise  to  provide  other  sources.  From  the  monarchical  head 
of  the  Church,  directly  appointed  by  God,  and  responsible  to 
no  human  tribunal,  the  supreme  pontiff  was  reduced  to  an  offi- 
cial of  the  council.  Another  class  of  measures  sought  to  clear 
Basel  of  the  offences  attending  a  large  and  promiscuous  gath- 
ering, such  as  gambling,  dancing,  and  the  arts  of  prostitutes, 
who  were  enjoined  from  showing  themselves  on  the  streets. 

1  De  concubinariis,  Mansi,  XXIX.  101  sq. 

2  Immunem  semper  fuisse  ab  omni  originali  et  actuali  culpa,  etc.,  Mansi, 
XXIX.  183. 


174  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

Eugenius  did  not  sit  idly  by  while  his  prerogatives  were 
being  tampered  with  and  an  utterly  unpapal  method  of  deal- 
ing with  heretics  was  being  pursued.  He  communicated  with 
the  princes  of  Europe,  June  1, 1436,  complaining  of  the  high- 
handed measures,  such  as  the  withdrawal  of  the  papal  reve- 
nues, the  suppression  of  the  prayer  for  the  pope  in  the  liturgy, 
and  the  giving  of  a  vote  to  the  lower  clergy  in  the  synod. 
At  that  juncture  the  union  with  the  Greeks,  a  question 
which  had  assumed  a  place  of  great  prominence,  afforded 
the  pope  the  opportunity  for  reasserting  his  authority  and 
breaking  up  the  council  in  the  Swiss  city. 

Overtures  of  union,  starting  with  Constantinople,  were 
made  simultaneously  through  separate  bodies  of  envoys  sent 
to  the  pope  and  the  council.  The  one  met  Eugenius  at 
Bologna  ;  the  other  appeared  in  Basel  in  the  summer  of  1434. 
In  discussing  a  place  for  a  joint  meeting  of  the  representa- 
tives of  the  two  communions,  the  Greeks  expressed  a  prefer- 
ence for  some  Italian  city,  or  Vienna.  This  exactly  suited 
Eugenius,  who  had  even  suggested  Constantinople  as  a  place 
of  meeting,  but  the  synod  sharply  informed  him  that  the  city 
on  the  Bosphorus  was  not  to  be  considered.  In  urging  Basel, 
Avignon,  or  a  city  in  Savoy,  the  Basel  councilmen  were  losing 
their  opportunity.  Two  delegations,  one  from  the  council 
and  one  from  the  pope,  appeared  in  Constantinople,  1437, 
proposing  different  places  of  meeting. 

When  the  matter  came  up  for  final  decision,  the  council, 
by  a  vote  of  355  to  244,  decided  to  continue  the  meeting  at 
Basel,  or,  if  that  was  not  agreeable  to  the  Greeks,  then  at 
Avignon.  The  minority,  acting  upon  the  pope's  preference, 
decided  in  favor  of  Florence  or  Udine.  In  a  bull  dated 
Sept.  18,  1437,  and  signed  by  eight  cardinals,  Eugenius  con- 
demned the  synod  for  negotiating  with  the  Greeks,  pro- 
nounced it  prorogued,  and,  at  the  request  of  the  Greeks,  as 
it  alleged,  transferred  the  council  to  Ferrara.1 

1  "Transfer"  is  the  word  used  by  the  pope  —  transferendo  hoc  sacrum 
concilium  in  civitatem  Ferrarensium,  Mansi,  XXIX.  166.  Reasons  for  the 
transfer  to  an  Italian  city  and  an  interesting  statement  of  the  discussion  over 
the  place  of  meeting  are  given  in  Haller,  Cone.  Bos.,  1. 141-150. 


§  17.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  BASEL.      1481-1449.  175 

The  synod  was  checkmated,  though  it  did  not  appreciate 
its  situation.  The  reunion  of  Christendom  was  a  measure 
of  overshadowing  importance,  and  took  precedence  in  men's 
minds  of  the  reform  of  Church  abuses.  The  Greeks  all  went 
to  Ferrara.  The  prelates,  who  had  been  at  Basel,  gradually 
retired  across  the  Alps,  including  Cardinals  Cesarini  and 
Nicolas  of  Cusa.  The  only  cardinal  left  at  Basel  was  d' Ale- 
man,  archbishop  of  Aries.  It  was  now  an  open  fight  between 
the  pope  and  council,  and  it  meant  either  a  schism  of  the 
Western  Church  or  the  complete  triumph  of  the  papacy. 
The  discussions  at  Basel  were  characterized  by  such  vehe- 
mence that  armed  citizens  had  to  intervene  to  prevent  vio- 
lence. The  conciliar  theory  was  struggling  for  life.  At  its 
28th  session,  October,  1437,  the  council  declared  the  papal 
bull  null  and  void,  and  summoned  Eugenius  within  sixty  days 
to  appear  before  it  in  person  or  by  deputy.  Four  months 
later,  Jan.  24,  1438,  it  declared  Eugenius  suspended,  and, 
June  25,  1439,  at  its  34th  session,  "removed,  deposed,  de- 
prived, and  cast  him  down,"  as  a  disturber  of  the  peace  of 
the  Church,  a  simoniac  and  perjurer,  incorrigible,  and  errant 
from  the  faith,  a  schismatic,  and  a  pertinacious  heretic.1 
Previous  to  this,  at  its  33d  session,  it  had  again  solemnly 
declared  for  the  supreme  jurisdiction  of  councils,  and  denied 
the  pope  the  right  to  adjourn  or  transfer  a  general  council. 
The  holding  of  contrary  views,  it  pronounced  heresy. 

In  the  meantime  the  council  at  Ferrara  had  been  opened, 
Jan.  8, 1438,  and  was  daily  gaining  adherents.  Charles  VII. 
took  the  side  of  Eugenius,  although  the  French  people,  at  the 
synod  of  Bourges  in  the  summer  of  1438,  accepted,  substan- 
tially, the  reforms  proposed  by  the  council  of  Basel.2  This 
action,  known  as  the  Pragmatic  Sanction,  decided  for  the 
superiority  of  councils,  and  that  they  should  be  held  every 

1  Eugenium  fuisse  et  ease  notorium  et  manifestum  contwnacem,  violatorem 
assuluum  atque  contemptorem  sacrorum  canonum  synodalium,  pacis  et  unita- 
tis  eccles.  Dei  perturbatorem  notorium  .  .  .  simoniaeum,  perjurum,  incor- 
riffibilem,  schismaticum,  a  ftdt  devium,  pertinacem  hatretieum,  dilapidatorem 
jurium  et  bonorum  eccleste,  inuttlem  et  damnosum  ad  administrationem 
romani pontificii,  etc.,  Mansi,  XXIX.  180. 

9  Mirbt  gives  it  in  part,  Quellen,  p.  160. 


176  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

ten  years,  abolished  annates  and  first-fruits,  ordered  the  large 
benefices  filled  by  elections,  and  limited  the  number  of  cardi- 
nals to  twenty-four.  These  important  declarations,  which 
went  back  to  the  decrees  of  the  Council  of  Constance,  were  the 
foundations  of  the  Gallican  liberties. 

The  attitude  of  the  German  princes  and  ecclesiastics  was 
one  of  neutrality  or  of  open  support  of  the  council  at  Basel. 
Sigismund  died  at  the  close  of  the  year  1437,  and,  before  the 
election  of  his  son-in-law,  Albrecht  II.,  as  his  successor,  the 
electors  at  Frankfurt  decided  upon  a  course  of  neutrality. 
Albrecht  survived  his  election  as  king  of  the  Romans  less  than 
two  years,  and  his  uncle,  Frederick  III.,  was  chosen  to~take 
his  place.  Frederick,  after  observing  neutrality  for  several 
years,  gave  his  adhesion  to  Eugenius. 

Unwilling  to  be  ignored  and  put  out  of  life,  the  council  at 
Basel,  through  a  commission  of  thirty-two,  at  whose  head 
stood  d'Aleman,  elected,  1439,  Amadeus,  duke  of  Savoy,  as 
pope.1  After  the  loss  of  his  wife,  1435,  Amadeus  formed  the 
order  of  St.  Mauritius,  and  lived  with  several  companions  in 
a  retreat  at  Ripaille,  on  the  Lake  of  Geneva.  He  was  a  man 
of  large  wealth  and  influential  family  connections.  He  as- 
sumed the  name  of  Felix  V.,  and  appointed  four  cardinals. 
A  year  after  his  election,  and  accompanied  by  his  two  sons, 
he  entered  Basel,  and  was  crowned  by  Cardinal  d'Aleman. 
The  tiara  is  said  to  have  cost  30,000  crowns.  Thus  Western 
Christendom  again  witnessed  a  schism.  Felix  had  the  sup- 
port of  Savoy  and  some  of  the  German  princes,  of  Alfonso 
of  Aragon,  and  the  universities  of  Paris,  Vienna,  Cologne, 
Erfurt,  and  Cracow.  Frederick  III.  kept  aloof  from  Basel 
and  declined  the  offer  of  marriage  to  Margaret,  daughter  of 
Felix  and  widow  of  Louis  of  Anjou,  with  a  dowry  of  200,000 
ducats. 

The  papal  achievement  in  winning  Frederick  III.,  king  of 
the  Romans,  was  largely  due  to  the  corruption  of  Frederick's 
chief  minister,  Caspar  Schlick,  and  the  treachery  of  jEneas 
Sylvius,  who  deserted  one  cause  and  master  after  another  as 

1  H.  Manger,  D.  Wahl  Amadeoa  v.  Savoy  en  gum  Papste,  Marburg,  1901, 
p.  04.  Sigismund,  in  1416,  raised  the  counts  of  Savoy  to  the  dignity  of  dukes. 


§  17.      THE  COUNCIL   OF  BASEL.      1431-1449.  177 

it  suited  his  advantage.  From  being  a  vigorous  advocate  of 
the  council,  he  turned  to  the  side  of  Eugenius,  to  whom  he 
made  a  most  fulsome  confession,  and,  after  passing  from  the 
service  of  Felix,  he  became  secretary  to  Frederick,  and  proved 
himself  Eugenius'  most  shrewd  and  pliable  agent.  He  was 
an  adept  in  diplomacy  and  trimmed  his  sails  to  the  wind. 

The  archbishops  of  Treves  and  Cologne,  who  openly  sup- 
ported the  Basel  assembly,  were  deposed  by  Eugenius,  1446. 
The  same  year  six  of  the  electors  offered  Eugenius  their 
obedience,  provided  he  would  recognize  the  superiority  of  an 
oecumenical  council,  and  within  thirteen  months  call  a  new 
council  to  meet  on  German  soil.  Following  the  advice  of 
-/Eneas  Sylvius,  the  pope  concluded  it  wise  to  show  a  concilia- 
tory attitude.  Papal  delegates  appeared  at  the  diet,  meeting 
September,  1446,  and  ^Eneas  was  successful  in  winning  over 
the  margrave  of  Brandenburg  and  other  influential  princes. 
The  following  January  he  and  other  envoys  appeared  in 
Rome  as  representatives  of  the  archbishop  of  Mainz,  Fred- 
erick III.,  and  other  princes.  The  result  of  the  negotiations 
was  a  concordat,  —  the  so-called  princes'  concordat,  —  Fiirsten 
Konkordat,  —  by  which  the  pope  restored  the  two  deposed 
archbishops,  recognized  the  superiority  of  general  councils, 
and  gave  to  Frederick  the  right  during  his  lifetime  to 
nominate  the  incumbents  of  the  six  bishoprics  of  Trent, 
Brixen,  Chur,  Gurk,  Trieste,  and  Pilsen,  and  to  him  and  his 
successors  the  right  to  fill,  subject  to  the  pope's  approval, 
100  Austrian  benefices.  These  concessions  Eugenius  ratified 
in  four  bulls,  Feb.  5-7, 1447,  one  of  them,  the  bull  Scdvatoria, 
declaring  that  the  pope  in  the  previous  three  bulls  had  not 
meant  to  disparage  the  authority  of  the  Apostolic  See,  and  if 
his  successors  found  his  concessions  out  of  accord  with  the 
doctrine  of  the  fathers,  they  were  to  be  regarded  as  void. 
The  agreement  was  celebrated  in  Rome  with  the  ringing  of 
bells,  and  was  confirmed  by  Nicolas  V.  in  the  so-called  Vienna 
Concordat,  Feb.  17,  1448.1 

Eugenius  died  Feb.  23,  1447,  and  was  laid  at  the  side  of 
Eugenius  III.  in  St.  Peter's.  He  had  done  nothing  to  intro- 

i  Given  in  Mirbt,  p.  165  sqq. 


178  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

duce  reforms  into  the  Church.  Like  Martin  V.,  he  was  fond 
of  art,  q,  taste  he  cultivated  during  his  exile  in  Florence.  He 
succeeded  in  perpetuating  the  mediaeval  view  of  the  papacy, 
and  in  delaying  the  reformation  of  the  Church  which,  when 
it  came,  involved  the  schism  in  Western  Christendom  which 
continues  to  this  day. 

The  Basel  council  continued  to  drag  on  a  tedious  and  un- 
eventful existence.  It  was  no  longer  in  the  stream  of  notice- 
able events.  It  stultified  itself  by  granting  Felix  a  tenth. 
In  June,  1448,  it  adjourned  to  Lausanne.  Reduced  to  a 
handful  of  adherents,  and  weary  of  being  a  synonym  for  in- 
nocuous failure,  it  voted  to  accept  Nicolas  V.,  Eugenius*  suc- 
cessor, as  legitimate  pope,  and  then  quietly  breathed  its  last, 
April  25, 1449.  After  courteously  revoking  his  bulls  anath- 
ematizing Eugenius  and  Nicolas,  Felix  abdicated.  He  was 
not  allowed  to  suffer,  much  less  obliged  to  do  penance,  for 
his  presumption  in  exercising  papal  functions.  He  was  made 
cardinal-bishop  of  Sabina,  and  Apostolic  vicar  in  Savoy  and 
other  regions  which  had  recognized  his  "  obedience."  Three 
of  his  cardinals  were  admitted  to  the  curia,  and  d'Aleman 
forgiven.  Felix  died  in  Geneva,  1451.1 

The  Roman  Church  has  not  since  had  an  anti-pope.  The 
Council  of  Basel  concluded  the  series  of  the  three  councils, 
which  had  for  their  chief  aims  the  healing  of  the  papal  schism 
and  the  reformation  of  Church  abuses.  They  opened  with 
great  promise  at  Pisa,  where  a  freedom  of  discussion  prevailed 
unheard  of  before,  and  where  the  universities  and  their  learned 
representatives  appeared  as  a  new  element  in  the  delibera- 
tions of  the  Church.  The  healing  of  the  schism  was  accom- 
plished, but  the  abuses  in  the  Church  went  on,  and  under  the 
last  popes  of  the  fifteenth  century  became  more  infamous 
than  they  had  been  at  any  time  before.  And  yet  even  in 
this  respect  these  councils  were  not  in  vain,  for  they  afforded 
a  warning  to  the  Protestant  reformers  not  to  put  their  trust 

i  In  his  bull  Ut  pacts,  1449,  recognizing  the  Lausanne  act  in  his  favor, 
Nicolas  V.  called  Amadeus  "  his  venerable  and  most  beloved  brother,"  and 
spoke  of  the  Basel-Lausanne  synod  as  being  held  under  the  name  of  an 
oecumenical  council,  sub  nomine  generate  concilii,  Labbaus,  XII.  663,  666. 


§  18.      THE  COUNCIL  OP  FEKRARA-FLOREtfCE.  179 

even  in  ecclesiastical  assemblies.  As  for  the  theory  of  the 
supremacy  of  general  councils  which  they  had  maintained 
with  such  dignity,  it  was  proudly  set  aside  by  later  popes  in 
their  practice  and  declared  fallacious  by  the  Fifth  Lateran  in 
1516,1  and  by  the  dogma  of  papal  infallibility  announced  at 
the  Council  of  the  Vatican,  1870. 

§  18.    The  Council  of  Ferrara-Florence.     1438-1445. 

The  council  of  Ferrara  witnessed  the  submission  of  the 
Greeks  to  the  Roman  see.  It  did  not  attempt  to  go  into  the 
subject  of  ecclesiastical  reforms,  and  thus  vie  with  the  synod 
at  Basel.  After  sixteen  sessions  held  at  Ferrara,  Eugenius 
transferred  the  council,  February,  1439,  to  Florence.  The  rea- 
son given  was  the  unhealthy  conditions  in  Ferrara,  but  the  real 
grounds  were  the  offer  of  the  Florentines  to  aid  Eugenius 
in  the  support  of  his  guests  from  the  East  and,  by  getting 
away  from  the  seaside,  to  lessen  the  chances  of  the  Greeks 
going  home  before  the  conclusion  of  the  union.  In  1442  the 
council  was  transferred  to  Rome,  where  it  held  two  sessions  in 
the  Lateran.  The  sessions  at  Ferrara,  Florence,  and  Rome  are 
listed  with  the  first  twenty-five  sessions  of  the  council  of  Basel, 
and  together  they  are  counted  as  the  seventeenth  oecumenical 
council.2 

The  schism  between  the  East  and  the  West,  dating 
from  the  middle  of  the  ninth  century,  while  Nicolas  I.  and 
Photius  were  patriarchs  respectively  of  Rome  and  Constanti- 
nople, was  widened  by  the  crusades  and  the  conquest  of  Con- 
stantinople, 1204.  The  interest  in  a  reunion  of  the  two 
branches  of  the  Church  was  shown  by  the  discussion  at  Bari, 
1098,  when  Anselm  was  appointed  to  set  forth  the  differences 
with  Greeks,  and  by  the  treatments  of  Thomas  Aquinas  and 
other  theologians.  The  only  notable  attempt  at  reunion  was 

1  Sess.  XI.  romanum  pontificem  tanquam  super  omnia  concilia  auctorita- 
tem  habentem,  conciliorum  indicendorum  transferendorum  ac  dissolvendorum 
plenum  jus  et  potestatem  habere.  This  council  at  the  same  time  pronounced 
the  Council  of  Basel  a  " little  council,'1  conciliabulum,  "or  rather  a  con- 
venticle,1' conventicula.  Mansi,  XXXII.  067. 

9  Hefele-Kiiopfler,  Kirchengeach.,  p.  477. 


180  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

made  at  the  second  council  of  Lyons,  1274,  when  a  deputation 
from  the  East  accepted  articles  of  agreement  which,  however, 
were  rejected  by  the  Eastern  churches.  In  1369,  the  em- 
peror John  visited  Rome  and  abjured  the  schism,  but  his 
action  met  with  unfavorable  response  in  Constantinople. 
Delegates  appeared  at  Constance,  1418,  sent  by  Manuel 
Palseologus  and  the  patriarch  of  Constantinople,1  and,  in 
1422,  Martin  V.  despatched  the  Franciscan,  Anthony  Mas- 
sanus,  to  the  Bosphorus,  with  nine  articles  as  a  basis  of  union. 
These  articles  led  on  to  the  negotiations  conducted  at  Ferrara. 

Neither  Eugenius  nor  the  Greeks  deserve  any  credit  for  the 
part  they  took  in  the  conference.  The  Greeks  were  actuated 
wholly  by  a  desire  to  get  the  assistance  of  the  West  against 
the  advance  of  the  Turks,  and  not  by  religious  zeal.  So  far 
as  the  Latins  are  concerned,  they  had  to  pay  all  the  expenses 
of  the  Greeks  on  their  way  to  Italy,  in  Italy,  and  on  their 
way  back  as  the  price  of  the  conference.  Catholic  historians 
have  little  enthusiasm  in  describing  the  empty  achievements 
of  Eugenius.2 

The  Greek  delegation  was  large  and  inspiring,  and  included 
the  emperor  and  the  patriarch  of  Constantinople.  In  Vene- 
tian vessels  rented  by  the  pope,  the  emperor  John  VI.,  Palae- 
ologus,  reached  Venice  in  February,  1438. 3  He  was  accorded 
a  brilliant  reception,  but  it  is  fair  to  suppose  that  the  pleas- 
ure he  may  have  felt  in  the  festivities  was  not  unmixed  with 
feelings  of  resentment,  when  he  recalled  the  sack  and  pillage 
of  his  capital,  in  1204,  by  the  ancestors  of  his  entertainers. 
John  reached  Ferrara  March  6.  The  Greek  delegation  com- 
prised 700  persons.  Eugenius  had  arrived  Jan.  27.  In  his 
bull,  read  in  the  synod,  he  called  the  emperor  his  most  beloved 
son,  and  the  patriarch  his  most  pious  brother.4  In  a  public 

1  Richental,  Chronik,  p.  113,  has  a  notice  of  their  arrival. 

2  So  Hefele-Knopfler,  Kirchengesch.,  p.  476  ;  Hergenrother-Kirsch,  II.  049  ; 
Funk,  Kirchengesch.,  p.  377.    Pastor,  II.  307,  says,  **  Die  politische  Nothlage 
brachte  endlich  die  Griechen  zum  Nachyeben." 

8  An  account  of  the  emperor's  arrival  and  entertainment  at  Venice  is 
given  in  Mansi,  XXXI.  463  sqq. 

*  Dilectissimus  filius  noster  Bomceorum  imperator  cum  piissimmo  fratre 
nostro,  Josepho  Const,  patriarchy  Mansi,  XXXI.  481. 


§  18.      THE  COUNCIL   OF   FERRARA-FLORENCE.          181 

address  delivered  by  Cardinal  Cesarini,  the  differences  divid- 
ing the  two  communions  were  announced  as  four,  —  the  mode 
of  the  procession  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  the  use  of  unleavened 
bread  in  the  eucharist,  the  doctrine  of  purgatory,  and  the  papal 
primacy.  The  discussions  exhibit  a  mortifying  spectacle  of 
theological  clipping  and  patchwork.  They  betray  no  pure 
zeal  for  the  religious  interests  of  mankind.  The  Greeks  in- 
terposed all  manner  of  dilatory  tactics  while  they  lived  upon 
the  hospitality  of  their  hosts.  The  Latins  were  bent  upon 
asserting  the  supremacy  of  the  Roman  bishop.  The  Orientals, 
moved  by  considerations  of  worldly  policy,  thought  only  of 
the  protection  of  their  enfeebled  empire. 

Among  the  more  prominent  Greeks  present  were  Bessarion, 
bishop  of  Nice,  Isidore,  archbishop  of  Russian  Kief,  and  Mark 
Eugenicus,  archbishop  of  Ephesus.  Bessarion  and  Isidore  re- 
mained in  the  West  after  the  adjournment  of  the  council,  and 
were  rewarded  by  Eugenius  with  the  red  hat.  The  arch- 
bishop of  Ephesus  has  our  admiration  for  refusing  to  bow 
servilely  to  the  pope  and  join  his  colleagues  in  accepting 
the  articles  of  union.  The  leaders  among  the  Latins  were 
Cardinals  Cesarini  and  Albergati,  and  the  Spaniard  Tur- 
recremata,  who  was  also  given  the  red  hat  after  the  council 
adjourned. 

The  first  negotiations  concerned  matters  of  etiquette.  Eu- 
genius gave  a  private  audience  to  the  patriarch,  but  waived 
the  ceremony  of  having  his  foot  kissed.  An  important  ques- 
tion was  the  proper  seating  of  the  delegates,  and  the  Greek 
emperor  saw  to  it  that  accurate  measurements  were  taken  of 
the  seats  set  apart  for  the  Greeks,  lest  they  should  have  posi- 
tions of  less  honor  than  the  Latins.1  The  pope's  promise  to 
support  his  guests  was  arranged  by  a  monthly  grant  of  thirty 
florins  to  the  emperor,  twenty-five  to  the  patriarch,  four  each 
to  the  prelates,  and  three  to  the  other  visitors.  What  possi- 
ble respect  could  the  more  high-minded  Latins  have  for  eccle- 
siastics, and  an  emperor,  who,  while  engaged  on  the  mission  of 
Church  reunion,  were  willing  to  be  the  pope's  pensioners,  and 
live  upon  his  dole ! 

1  So  Syrophulos.     See  Hefele,  Conciliengesch.,  VII.  672. 


182  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

The  first  common  session  was  not  held  till  Oct.  8, 1438. 
Most  of  it  was  taken  up  with  a  long  address  by  Bessarion,  as 
was  the  time  of  the  second  session  by  a  still  longer  address  by 
another  Greek.  The  emperor  did  his  share  in  promoting  de- 
lay by  spending  most  of  his  time  hunting.  At  the  start  the 
Greeks  insisted  there  could  be  no  addition  to  the  original 
creed.  Again  and  again  they  were  on  the  point  of  withdraw- 
ing, but  were  deterred  from  doing  so  by  dread  of  the  Turks 
and  empty  purses.1 

A  commission  of  twenty,  ten  Greeks  and  ten  Latins,  was 
appointed  to  conduct  the  preliminary  discussion  on  the  ques- 
tions of  difference. 

The  Greeks  accepted  the  addition  made  to  the  Constantino- 
politan  creed  by  the  synod  of  Toledo,  589,  declaring  that  the 
Spirit  proceeds  from  the  Father  and  the  Son,  but  with  the 
stipulation  that  they  were  not  to  be  required  to  introduce 
the  filioque  clause  when  they  used  the  creed.  They  justified 
their  course  on  the  ground  that  they  had  understood  the  Lat- 
ins as  holding  to  the  procession  from  the  Father  and  the  Son 
as  from  two  principles.  The  article  of  agreement  ran :  "  The 
Spirit  proceeds  from  the  Father  and  the  Son  eternally  and 
substantially  as  it  were  from  one  source  and  cause."2 

In  the  matter  of  purgatory,  it  was  decided  that  immediately 
at  death  the  blessed  pass  to  the  beatific  vision,  a  view  the 
Greeks  had  rejected.  Souls  in  purgatory  are  purified  by  pain 
and  may  be  aided  by  the  suffrages  of  the  living.  At  the  in- 
sistence of  the  Greeks,  material  fire  as  an  element  of  purifica- 
tion was  left  out. 

The  use  of  leavened  bread  was  conceded  to  the  Greeks. 

In  the  matter  of  the  eucharist,  the  Greeks,  who,  after  the 
words,  "this  is  my  body,"  make  a  petition  that  the  Spirit  may 
turn  the  bread  into  Christ's  body,  agreed  to  the  view  that 
transubstantiation  occurs  at  the  use  of  the  priestly  words, 

1  Hergenrdther-Kirsch,  II.  949,  lays  stress  upon  the  Greek  readiness  to 
accept  alms. 

8  jEternaliter  et  substantialiter  tanquam  ab  uno  principle  et  causa.  The 
statement  expatre  et  Jllio  and  ex  patre  per  filium  were  declared  to  be  iden- 
tical in  meaning. 


§  18.       THE  COUNCIL  OF  FERRABA-FLORENCE.          183 

but  stipulated  that  the  confession  be  not  incorporated  in  the 
written  articles. 

The  primacy  of  the  Roman  bishop  offered  the  most  serious 
difficulty.  The  article  of  union  acknowledged  him  as  "having 
a  primacy  over  the  whole  world,  he  himself  being  the  suc- 
cessor of  Peter,  and  the  true  vicar  of  Christ,  the  head  of  the 
whole  Church,  the  father  and  teacher  of  all  Christians,  to 
whom,  in  Peter,  Christ  gave  authority  to  feed,  govern  and 
rule  the  universal  Church."1  This  remarkable  concession 
was  modified  by  a  clause  in  the  original  document,  running, 
"according  as  it  is  defined  by  the  acts  of  the  oecumenical 
councils  and  by  the  sacred  canons."  2  The  Latins  afterwards 
changed  the  clause  so  as  to  read,  "  even  as  it  is  defined  by  the 
oecumenical  councils  and  the  holy  canons."  The  Latin  falsi- 
fication made  the  early  oecumenical  councils  a  witness  to  the 
primacy  of  the  Roman  pontiff. 

The  articles  of  union  were  incorporated  in  a  decree8  be- 
ginning Lcetentur  cceli  et  exultat  terra,  "  Let  the  heavens  re- 
joice and  the  earth  be  glad."  It  declared  that  the  middle 
wall  of  partition  between  the  Occidental  and  Oriental 
churches  has  been  taken  down  by  him  who  is  the  corner- 
stone, Christ.  The  black  darkness  of  the  long  schism  had 
passed  away  before  the  ray  of  concord.  Mother  Church  re- 
joiced to  see  her  divided  children  reunited  in  the  bonds  of 
peace  and  love.  The  union  was  due  to  the  grace  of  the  Holy 
Ghost.  The  articles  were  signed  July  5  by  115  Latins  and 

1  Diffinimus  sanctam  apostol.  sedem  et  Eomanam  pontificem  in  universum 
orbem  tenere  primatum  et  ipsum  pontificem  Eomanum  successorem  esse  B. 
Petri  primipis  apostolorum,  et  verum  Christi  vicarium,  totiusque  ecclesice 
caput,  et  omnium  Chnstianorum  patrem  et  doctorem  exiatere,  etc.    Mansi, 
XXXI.  1697. 

2  Quemadmodum  et  in  gestis  cscumenicorum  conciliorum  et  in  sacris  ca- 
nonibus  continetur.   The  change  placed  an  etiam  in  the  place  of  the  first  ett  so 
that  the  clause  ran  quemadmodum  etiam  in  gestis,  etc.     See  Dollinger-Fried- 
rich,  D.  Papstthum,  pp.  170,  470  sq.    Dollinger  says  that  in  the  Roman  ed.  of 
1626  the  Ferrara  council  was  called  the  8th  oecumenical. 

8  The  document,  together  with  the  signatures,  is  given  in  Mansi,  pp.  1028- 
1036, 1695-1701.  Hefele-Knopfler,  ConciliengeBch.,  VII.  742-753,  has  regarded 
it  of  such  importance  as  to  give  the  Greek  and  Latin  originals  in  full,  and  also 
a  German  translation. 


184  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

33  Greeks,  of  whom  18  were  metropolitans.  Archbishop 
Mark  of  Ephesus  was  the  only  one  of  the  Orientals  who  re- 
fused to  sign.  The  patriarch  of  Constantinople  had  died  a 
month  before,  but  wrote  approving  the  union.  His  body  lies 
buried  in  S.  Maria  Novella,  Florence.  His  remains  and  the 
original  manuscript  of  the  articles,  which  is  preserved  in  the 
Laurentian  library  at  Florence,  are  the  only  relics  left  of 
the  union. 

On  July  6,  1439,  the  articles  were  publicly  read  in  the 
cathedral  of  Florence,  the  Greek  text  by  Bessarion,  and  the 
Latin  by  Cesarini.  The  pope  was  present  and  celebrated  the 
mass.  The  Latins  sang  hymns  in  Latin,  and  the  Greeks  fol- 
lowed them  with  hymns  of  their  own.  Eugenius  promised 
for  the  defence  of  Constantinople  a  garrison  of  three  hundred 
and  two  galleys  and,  if  necessary,  the  armed  help  of  Western 
Christendom.  After  tarrying  for  a  month  to  receive  the  five 
months  of  arrearages  of  his  stipend,  the  emperor  returned  by 
way  of  Venice  to  his  capital,  from  which  he  had  been  absent 
two  years. 

The  Ferrara  agreement  proved  to  be  a  shell  of  paper,  and 
all  the  parade  and  rejoicing  at  the  conclusion  of  the  proceed- 
ings were  made  ridiculous  by  the  utter  rejection  of  its  articles 
in  Constantinople. 

On  their  return,  the  delegates  were  hooted  as  Azymites,  the 
name  given  in  contempt  to  the  Latins  for  using  unleavened 
bread  in  the  eucharist.  Isidore,  after  making  announcement 
of  the  union  at  Ofen,  was  seized  and  put  into  a  convent,  from 
which  he  escaped  two  years  later  to  Rome.  The  patriarchs 
of  Jerusalem,  Antioch,  and  Alexandria  issued  a  letter  from 
Jerusalem,  1443,  denouncing  the  council  of  Florence  as  a  synod 
of  robbers  and  Metrophanes,  the  Byzantine  patriarch  as  a 
matricide  and  heretic. 

It  is  true  the  articles  were  published  in  St.  Sophia,  Dec. 
14,  1452,  by  a  Latin  cardinal,  but  six  months  later,  Constan- 
tinople was  in  the  hands  of  the  Mohammedans.  A  Greek 
council,  meeting  in  Constantinople,  1472,  formally  rejected 
the  union. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  success  of  the  Roman  policy  was 


§  18.      THE  COUNCIL  OF  FEBRAKA-FLOBENCE.         185 

announced  through  Western  Europe.  Eugenius'  position  was 
strengthened  by  the  empty  triumph,  and  in  the  same  propor- 
tion the  influence  of  the  Basel  synod  lessened.  If  cordial 
relations  between  churches  of  the  East  and  the  West  were  not 
promoted  at  Ferrara  and  Florence,  a  beneficent  influence 
flowed  from  the  council  in  another  direction  by  the  diffusion 
of  Greek  scholarship  and  letters  in  the  West. 

Delegations  also  from  the  Armenians  and  Jacobites  appeared 
at  Florence  respectively  in  1439  and  1442.  The  Copts  and 
Ethiopians  also  sent  delegations,  and  it  seemed  as  if  the  time 
had  arrived  for  the  reunion  of  all  the  distracted  parts  of  Chris- 
tendom.1 A  union  with  the  Armenians,  announced  Nov.  22, 
1439,  declared  that  the  Eastern  delegates  had  accepted  the 
procession  of  the  Holy  Spirit  from  the  Son  and  the  Chalcedon 
Council  giving  Christ  two  natures  and  by  implication  two 
wills.  The  uniate  Armenians  have  proved  true  to  the  union. 
The  Armenian  catholicos,  Gregory  IX.,  who  attempted  to  en- 
force the  union,  was  deposed,  and  the  Turks,  in  1461,  set  up  an 
Armenian  patriarch,  with  seat  at  Constantinople.  The  union 
of  the  Jacobites,  proclaimed  in  1442,  was  universally  disowned 
in  the  East.  The  attempts  to  conciliate  the  Copts  and  Ethiopi- 
ans were  futile.  Eugenius  sent  envoys  to  the  East  to  apprise 
the  Maronites  and  the  Nestorians  of  the  efforts  at  reunion. 
The  Nestorians  on  the  island  of  Cyprus  submitted  to  Rome, 
and  a  century  later,  during  the  sessions  of  the  Fifth  Lateran, 
1516,  the  Maronites  were  received  into  the  Roman  com- 
munion. 

On  Aug.  7,  1445,  Eugenius  adjourned  the  long  council 
which  had  begun  its  sittings  at  Basel,  continued  them  at 
Ferrara  and  Florence,  and  concluded  them  in  the  Lateran. 

1  See  Mansi,  XXXI.  1047  sqq. ;  Hefele-Knbpfler,  VII.  788  sqq.  The  only 
meeting  since  between  Greeks  and  Western  ecclesiastics  of  public  note  was 
at  the  Bonn  Conference,  1876,  in  which  Ddllinger  and  the  Old-Catholics  took 
the  most  prominent  part.  Dr.  Philip  Schaff  and  several  Anglican  divines 
also  participated.  See  Creeds  of  Christendom,  II 545-554,  and  Life  of  Philip 
Schaff,  pp.  277-280. 


CHAPTER  III. 

LEADERS  OF   CATHOLIC  THOUGHT. 
§  19.    Literature. 

For  §  20.  OCKAM  AND  THE  DECAY  OP  SCHOLASTICISM.  —  No  complete  ed. 
of  Ockam's  works  exists.  The  fullest  lists  are  given  by  RIEZLER,  see  below, 
LITTLE  :  Grey  Friars  of  Oxford,  pp.  226-234,  and  POTTHAST  :  II.  871-873. 
GOLDAST'B  Monarchia,  II.  313-1296,  contains  a  number  of  his  works,  e.g. 
opus  nonaginta  dierum,  Compendium  errorum  Johannis  XXII.,  De  utiU 
dominio  rerum  eccles.  et  abdications  bonorum  temporalium,  Super  potestatem 
summi  pontijicis,  Qucestionum  octo  decisiones,  Dial,  de  potestate  papali  et 
imperials  in  tres  partes  distinctus,  (1)  de  hcereticis,  (2)  de  erroribus  Joh. 
XXIL,  (3)  de  potestate  papa,  conciliorum  et  imperatoris  (first  publ.  2  vols., 
Paris,  1476).  —  Other  works :  Expositio  aurea  super  totam  artem  veterem,  a 
com.  on  PORPHYRY'S  Isagoge,  and  ARISTOTLE'S  Elenchus,  Bologna,  1496.  — 
Summa  logices,  Paris,  1488.  —  Super  IV.  libros  sententiarum,  Lyons,  1483. — 
De  sacramento  altaris,  Strassburg,  1491. — De  prcedestinatione  et  futuris  con- 
tingentibus,  Bologna,  1496.  —  Quodlibeta  septem,  Paris,  1487.  —  RIEZLER:  D. 
antipdpstlichen  und  publizistischen  Schriften  Occams  in  his  Die  literar. 
Widersacher,  etc.,  241-277. — HAUREAU  :  La  philos.  scolastique.  — WERNER  : 
Die  Scholastik  des  spateren  M.A.,  II.,  Vienna,  1883,  and  Der  hi.  Thos.  von 
Aquino,  III.  —STOCKL  :  Die  Philos.  des  M.A.,  II.  986-1021,  and  art.  Nomi- 
nalismus  in  Wetzer-Welte,  IX.  — BAUR:  Die  christl  Kirche  d.  MA.,  p.  377 
sqq.  —  MILLER  :  Der  Kampf  Ludwigs  des  Baiern.  — R.  L.  POOLE  in  Dirt,  of 
Natl.  Biog.,  XLI.  367-362.— R.  SEEBERO  in  Herzog,  XIV.  260-280.— A. 
DORNER;  D.  Verhaltniss  von  Kirche  und  Staat  nach  Occam  in  Mudien  und 
Kritiken,  1886,  pp.  672-722. — F.  KROPATSCHECK  :  Occam  und  Luther  in  Beitr. 
zur  Forderung  christl.  Theol.,  Gutersloh,  1900.  —  Art.  Nominalismus,  by 
STOCKL  in  Wetzer-Welte,  IX.  423-427. 

For  §21.  CATHERINE  OP  SIENA.  —  Her  writings.  Epistole  ed  orazioni 
della  seraphica  vergine  s.  Catterina  da  Siena,  Venice,  1600,  etc.  — Best  ed. 
6  vols.,  Siena,  1707-1726.— Engl.  trans,  of  the  Dialogue  of  the  Seraphic 
Virgin  Cath.  of  Siena,  by  ALOAR  THOROLD,  London,  1896.  — Her  Letters,  ed. 
by  N.  TOMMABEO  :  Le  letters  di  S.  Caterina  da  Siena,  4  vols. ,  Florence,  1860. — 
*Engl.  trans,  by  VIDA  D.  SCUDDER  :  St.  Cath.  of  Siena  as  seen  in  her  Letters, 
London,  1906,  2d  ed.,  1906.— Her  biography  is  based  upon  the  Life  written 
by  her  confessor,  RAYMUNDO  DE  VINEIB  BIVE  DE  CAPUA,  d.  1399 :  vita  s.  Cath. 
Senensis,  included  in  the  Siena  ed.  of  her  works  and  in  the  Acta  Sanctt.  III. 
863-969. — Ital.  trans,  by  Catherine's  secretary,  NERI  DE  LANDOCCIO,  Fr. 
trans,  by  E.  CARTIER,  Paris,  1863,  4th  ed.,  1877.— An  abbreviation  of  Ray- 
mund's  work,  with  annotations,  Leggenda  della  Cat.  da  Siena,  usually  called 

186 


§  19.      LITEBATUBB.  187 

La  Leggenda  minore,  by  TOMMASO  D' ANTONIO  Nxoci  CAFPABINI,  1414.  — K. 
HA  SB  :  Caterina  von  Siena,  Ein  Heiligeribild,  Leipzig,  1864,  new  ed.,  1892. — 
J.  E.  BUTLKB:  Cath.  of  Siena,  London,  1878,  4th  ed.,  1896. — AUGUSTA  T. 
DRANE,  Engl.  Dominican :  The  Hist,  of  Cath.  of  Siena,  compiled  from  the 
orig.  sources,  London,  1880,  3d  ed.,  1900,  with  a  trans,  of  the  Dialogue.— 
St.  Catherine  of  Siena  and  her  Times,  by  the  author  of  Mademoiselle  Mori 
(Margaret  D.  Roberts),  New  York,  1906,  pays  little  attention  to  the  miracu- 
lous element,  and  presents  a  full  picture  of  Catherine's  age. — *E.  G.  GARDNER  : 
St.  Catherine  of  Siena :  A  Study  in  the  Religion,  Literature,  and  History  of 
the  fourteenth  century  in  Italy,  London,  1907. 

For  §  22.  PETER  D'AILLY.  —  PAUL  TSCHACKERT  :  Peter  von  Ailli.  Zur 
Gesch.  des  grossen  abendlandischen  Schismas  und  der  Reformconcilien  von 
Pisa  und  Constanz,  Gotha,  1877,  and  Art.  in  HERZOG,  I.  274-280. — SALEM- 
BIER  :  Petrus  de  Alliaco,  Lille,  1886.  —  LENZ  :  Drei  Traktate  aus  d.  Schriften- 
cyclusd.  Konst.  Konz.,  Marburg,  1876. — BESS:  Zur  Gesch.  des  Konst.  Konzils, 
Marburg,  1891.— FINKE:  Forsc.hungen  und  Quellen,  etc.,  pp.  103-182. — For 
a  list  of  D'Ailly's  writings,  See  TSCHACKERT,  pp.  348-365. — Some  of  them 
are  given  in  VAN  DER  HARDT  and  in  Du  PIN'S  ed.  of  Gerson's  Works,  I.  489- 
804,  and  the  De  difficultate  reform,  cedes.,  and  the  De  necessitate  reform, 
eccles.,  II.  867-903. 

For  §  23.  JOHN  GERSON.  —  Works.  Best  ed.  by  L.  E.  Du  PIN,  Prof,  of 
Theol.  in  Paris,  6  vols.,  Antwerp,  1706 ;  2d  ed.,  Hague  Com.,  1728.  The 
2d  ed.  has  been  consulted  in  this  work  and  is  pronounced  by  Schwab  "  indis- 
pensable/1 It  contains  the  materials  of  Gerson's  life  and  the  contents  of  his 
works  in  an  introductory  essay,  Gersoniana,  I.  i-cxlv,  and  also  writings 
by  D'AILLY,  LANGENSTEIN,  ALEMAN  and  other  contemporaries.  A  number 
of  Gerson's  works  are  given  in  GOLDAST'S  Monarchia  and  VAN  DER  HARDT. — 
A  Vita  Gersonis  is  given  in  HARDT' s  Cone.  Const.,  IV.  26-57.  —  Chartul.  Univ. 
Paris.,  III.,  IV.,  under  John  Arnaud  and  Gerson.  — J.  B.  SCHWAB  :  Johannes 
Gerson,  Prof,  der  Theologie  und  Kanzler  der  Universitdt  Paris,  Wtirzburg, 
1858,  an  exhaustive  work,  giving  also  a  history  of  the  times,  one  of  the  most 
thorough  of  biographies  and  to  be  compared  with  HURTER'S  Innocent  III. 
—  A.  MASSON  :  J.  Gerson,  sa  vie,  son  temps  et  ses  oyuvres,  Lyons,  1894.  — 
A.  LAMBON  :  J.  Gerson,  sa  reforme  de  Venseigement  theol.  et  de  V education 
populaire,  Paris,  1888.  —  BESS:  Zur  Gesch.  d.  Konstanz.  Konzils;  art. 
Gerson  in  HERZOO,  VI.  612-617.  — LAFONTAINE  :  Jehas  Gerson,  1S63-1429, 
Paris,  1906,  pp.  340.— J.  SCHWANE  :  Dogmengesch.—  WERNER:  D.  Scholastik 
d.  spdteren  M.A.,  IV.,  V. 

For  §  24.  NICOLAS  OP  CLAMANOES.  —  Works,  ed.  by  J.  M.  LYDIUS,  2  vols., 
Leyden,  1613,  with  Life.  —  The  De  ruina  ecclesia,  with  a  Life,  in  VAN  DEB 
HARDT:  Cone.  Constan.,  vol.  L,  pt.  III.  —  Writings  not  in  Lydius  are  given 
by  BULJEUB  in  Hist.  univ.  Paris.  —  BALUZIUS  :  Miscellanea,  and  D'ACHERY  : 
Spicilegium.  —  Life  in  Du  PIN'S  Works  of  Gerson,  I.,  p.  xxxix  sq.  —A.  MUNTZ: 
Nic.  de  Clem.,  sa  vie  et  ses  Merits,  Strassburg,  1846.  — J.  SCHWAB  :  J.  Gerson, 
pp.  493-497. — Artt.  by  BESS  in  HERZOO,  IV.  138-147,  and  by  KNOPFLER  in 
Wetzer-Welte,  IX.  298-806.— G.  SCHUBERT:  Nic.  von  Clem,  als  Verfasser 
der  Schrift  de  corrupto  ecclesias  statu,  Grossenhain,  1888. 

For  §  25.    NICOLAS  OF  CUBA.  —  Edd.  of  his  Works,  1476  (place  not  given), 


188  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

as  ed.  by  FABER  STAPULENSIS,  3  vole.,  1514,  Basel.  —  German  trans,  of  a 
number  of  the  works  by  F.  A.  SCHRAPFF,  Freiburg,  1862. — SCHRAPFF  :  Der 
Cardinal  und  Bischof  Nic.  von  Cusa,  Mainz,  1843 ;  Nic.  von  Cusa  als  Re- 
formator  in  Kirche,  Reich  und  Philosophic  des  15ten  Jahrh.^  Tubingen,  1871. — 
J.  M.  Dtfx :  Der  deutsche  Card.  Nic.  von  Cusa  und  die  Kirche  seiner  Zeit, 
2  vols.,  Regensburg,  1847. — J.  UEBINGER  :  D.  Gotteslehre  des  Nic.  von  Cusa, 
Munster,  1888. — J.  MARX  :  Nik.  von  Cues  und  seme  Stiftungen  zu  Cues  und 
Deventer,  Treves,  1906,  pp.  115. — C.  SCHMITT  :  Card.  Nic.  Cusanus,  Coblenz, 
1907.  Presents  him  as  astronomer,  geographer,  mathematician,  histo- 
rian, homilete,  orator,  philosopher,  and  theologian. — STOCKL,  III.  23-84. — 
SCHWANE,  pp.  98-102.— Art.  by  FUNK  in  Wetzer-Welte,  IX.  306-316. 

§  20.    Ockam  and  the  Decay  of  Scholasticism. 

Scholasticism  had  its  last  great  representative  in  Duns 
Scotus,  d.  1308.  After  him  the  scholastic  method  gradually 
passed  into  disrepute.  New  problems  were  thrust  upon  the 
mind  of  Western  Europe,  and  new  interests  were  engaging  its 
attention.  The  theologian  of  the  school  and  the  convent  gave 
way  to  the  practical  theological  disputant  setting  forth  his 
views  in  tracts  and  on  the  floor  of  the  councils.  Free  dis- 
cussion broke  up  the  hegemony  of  dogmatic  assertion.  The 
authority  of  the  Fathers  and  of  the  papacy  lost  its  exclu- 
sive hold,  and  thinkers  sought  another  basis  of  authority  in 
the  general  judgment  of  contemporary  Christendom,  in  the 
Scriptures  alone  or  in  reason.  The  new  interest  in  letters  and 
the  natural  world  drew  attention  away  from  labored  theologi- 
cal systems  which  were  more  adapted  to  display  the  ingenuity 
of  the  theologian  than  to  be  of  practical  value  to  society.  The 
use  of  the  spoken  languages  of  Europe  in  literature  was  fitted 
to  force  thought  into  the  mould  of  current  exigencies.  The 
discussions  of  Roger  Bacon  show  that  at  the  beginning  of  the 
fourteenth  century  men's  minds,  sated  with  abstruse  meta- 
physical solutions  of  theological  questions,  great  and  trivial, 
were  turning  to  a  world  more  real  and  capable  of  proof. 

The  chief  survivors  of  the  dialectical  Schoolmen  were  Du- 
randus  and  William  Ockam.  Gabriel  Biel  of  Tubingen,  who 
died  just  before  the  close  of  the  fifteenth  century,  is  usually 
called  the  last  of  the  Schoolmen.1  Such  men  as  D'Ailly,  Ger- 

1  Seeberg  gives  a  good  deal  of  attention  to  Biel  in  his  Dogmengeschichte. 
Stockl  carries  the  history  of  scholasticism  down  to  Cardinal  Cajetan,  who  wrote 


§  20.      OCKAM  AND  THE  DECAY  OF  SCHOLASTICISM.      189 

son  and  Wyclif,  sometimes  included  under  the  head  of  medi- 
eval scholastics,  evidently  belong  to  another  class. 

A  characteristic  feature  of  the  scholasticism  of  Durandus 
and  Ockani  is  the  sharper  distinction  they  made  between 
reason  and  revelation.  Following  Duns  Scotus,  they  declared 
that  doctrines  peculiar  to  revealed  theology  are  not  suscep- 
tible of  proof  by  pure  reason.  The  body  of  dogmatic  truth, 
as  accepted  by  the  Church,  they  did  not  question. 

A  second  characteristic  is  the  absence  of  originality.  They 
elaborated  what  they  received.  The  Schoolmen  of  former 
periods  had  exhausted  the  list  of  theological  questions  and 
discussed  them  from  every  standpoint. 

The  third  characteristic  is  the  revival  and  ascendency  of 
nominalism,  the  principle  Roscellinus  advocated  more  than 
two  hundred  years  before.  The  Nominalists  were  also  called 
Terminists,  because  they  represent  words  as  terms  which  do 
not  necessarily  have  ideas  and  realities  to  correspond  to  them. 
A  universal  is  simply  a  symbol  or  term  for  a  number  of  things 
or  for  that  which  is  common  to  a  number  of  things.1  Univer- 
sality is  nothing  more  than  a  mode  of  mental  conception.  The 
University  of  Paris  resisted  the  spread  of  nominalism,  and  in 
1339  the  four  nations  forbade  the  promulgation  of  Ockam's 
doctrine  or  listening  to  its  being  expounded  in  private  or 
public.2  In  1473,  Louis  XI.  issued  a  mandate  forbidding  the 
doctors  at  Paris  teaching  it,  and  prohibiting  the  use  of  the 
writings  of  Ockarn,  Marsiglius  and  other  writers.  In  1481 
the  law  was  rescinded. 

Durandus,  known  as  doctor  resolutiasimus,  the  resolute  doc- 
tor, d.  1334,  was  born  at  Pour^ain,  in  the  diocese  of  Clermont, 
entered  the  Dominican  order,  was  appointed  by  John  XXII. 
bishop  of  Limoux,  1317,  and  was  later  elevated  to  the  sees  of 
Puy  and  Meaux.  He  attacked  some  of  the  rules  of  the  Fran- 

acommentary  on  Thomas  Aquinas'  Summatheologica,  and  includes  the  German 
mystics,  Eck,  Luther,  etc.,  who  clearly  belong  in  another  category.  Professor 
Seth,  in  art.  Scholasticism  in  the  Enc.  Brit*,  and  Werner,  close  the  history  with 
Francis  Suarez,  1617.  The  new  age  had  begun  a  hundred  years  before  that  tune. 

1  Terminus  prolatusvel  scriptus  nihil  signiftcat  nisi  secundum  voluntariam 
institutionem.    Ockam,  as  quoted  by  Stbckl,  II.  962. 

2  Chartul.    II.  485.    Also  p.  607,  etc. 


190  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

ciscans  and  John  XXII.  *s  theory  of  the  beatific  vision,  and  in 
1333  was  declared  by  a  commission  guilty  of  eleven  errors. 
His  theological  views  are  found  in  his  commentary  on  the 
Lombard,  begun  when  he  was  a  young  man  and  finished  in  his 
old  age.  He  showed  independence  by  assailing  some  of  the 
views  of  Thomas  Aquinas.  He  went  beyond  his  predecessors 
in  exalting  the  Scriptures  above  tradition  and  pronouncing 
their  statements  more  authoritative  than  the  dicta  of  Aristotle 
and  other  philosophers.1  All  real  existence  is  in  the  indi- 
vidual. The  universal  is  not  an  entity  which  can  be  divided 
as  a  chunk  of  wood  is  cut  into  pieces.  The  universal,  the 
unity  by  which  objects  are  grouped  together  as  a  class,  is  de- 
duced from  individuals  by  an  act  of  the  mind.  That  which 
is  common  to  a  class  has,  apart  from  the  individuals  of  the 
class,  no  real  existence. 

On  the  doctrine  of  the  eucharist  Durandus  seems  not  to 
have  been  fully  satisfied  with  the  view  held  by  the  Church,  and 
suggested  that  the  words  "  this  is  my  body,"  may  mean  "  con- 
tained under  "  —  contentum  sub  hoc.  This  marks  an  approach 
to  Luther's  view  of  consubstantiation.  This  theologian  was 
held  in  such  high  esteem  by  Gerson  that  he  recommended  him, 
together  with  Thomas  Aquinas,  Bradwardine  and  Henry  of 
Ghent,  to  the  students  of  the  college  of  Navarre.2 

The  most  prof ound  scholastic  thinker  of  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury was  the  Englishman,  William  Ockam,  d.  1349,  called 
doctor  invincibility  the  invincible  doctor,  or,  with  reference  to 
his  advocacy  of  nominalism,  venerabilia  inceptor,  the  venerable 
inaugurator.  His  writings,  which  were  more  voluminous  than 
lucid,  were  much  published  at  the  close  of  the  fifteenth  cen- 
tury, but  have  not  been  put  into  print  for  several  hundred 
years.  There  is  no  complete  edition  of  them.  Ockam's 
views  combined  elements  which  were  strictly  mediaeval,  and 
elements  which  were  adopted  by  the  Reformers  and  modern 

1  Naturalis  philosophies  non  est  scire  quid  Aristoteles  vel  alii  philosophi 
senserunt  sed  quid  habet  veritas  rerum,  quoted  by  Deutsch,  p.  97.    Durandus' 
commentary  on  the  sentences  of  the  Lombard  was  publ.  Paris,  1608,  1615, 
etc.    See  DtHtoch,  art.  Durandus,  in  Herzog,  V.  06-104. 

2  Schwab :  J.  Gerson,  p.  812. 


§  20.      OCKAM   AND  THE  DECAY  OF  SCHOLASTICISM.      191 

philosophy.  His  identification  with  the  cause  of  the  Spirit- 
ual Franciscans  involved  him  in  controversy  with  two  popes, 
John  XXII.  and  Benedict  XII.  His  denial  of  papal  infalli- 
bility has  the  appearance  not  so  much  of  a  doctrine  pro- 
ceeding from  theological  conviction  as  the  chance  weapon  laid 
hold  of  in  time  of  conflict  to  protect  the  cause  of  the  Spirituals. 

Of  the  earlier  period  of  Ockam's  life,  little  is  known.  He 
was  born  in  Surrey,  studied  at  Oxford,  where  he  probably  was  a 
student  of  Dims  Scotus,  entered  the  Franciscan  order,  and  was 
probably  master  in  Paris,  1315-1820.  For  his  advocacy  of  the 
doctrine  of  Christ's  absolute  poverty  he  was,  by  order  of  John 
XXII.,  tried  and  found  guilty  and  thrown  into  confinement.1 
With  the  aid  of  Lewis  the  Bavarian,  he  and  his  companions, 
Michael  of  Cesena  and  Bonagratia,  escaped  in  1328  to  Pisa. 
From  that  time  on,  the  emperor  and  the  Schoolman,  as  already 
stated,  defended  one  another.  Ockam  accompanied  the  em- 
peror to  Munich  and  was  excommunicated.  At  Cesena's 
death  the  Franciscan  seal  passed  into  his  hands,  but  whatever 
authority  he  possessed  he  resigned  the  next  year  into  the 
hands  of  the  acknowledged  Franciscan  general,  Farinerius. 
Clement  VI.  offered  him  absolution  on  condition  of  his  abjur- 
ing his  errors.  Whether  he  accepted  the  offer  or  not  is  un- 
known. He  died  at  Munich  and  is  buried  there.  The  dis- 
tinguished Englishman  owes  his  reputation  to  his  revival  of 
nominalism,  his  political  theories  and  his  definition  of  the  final 
seat  of  religious  authority. 

His  theory  of  nominalism  was  explicit,  and  offered  no  toler- 
ation to  the  realism  of  the  great  Schoolmen  from  Anselm  on. 
Individual  things  alone  have  factual  existence.  The  univer- 
sals  are  mere  terms  or  symbols,  fictions  of  the  mind — fic- 
tionea,  signa  mentalia,  nomine^  tigna  verbalia.  They  are  like 
images  in  a  mirror.  A  universal  stands  for  an  intellectual 
act — actus  intelligenda  —  and  nothing  more.  Did  ideas  exist 
in  God's  mind  as  distinct  entities,  then  the  visible  world  would 
have  been  created  out  of  them  and  not  out  of  nothing.2 

1  It  lasted  four  years,  Mttller,  Ludwig  der  Baier,  p.  208. 

2  Nullum  universale  est  aliqua  substantial  extra  animam  existed,  quoted  by 
Seeberg,  in  Herzog,  p.  269.     Quoddam  fictum  existent  objective  in  mente. 


192  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Following  Duns  Scotus,  Ockam  taught  determinism. 
God's  absolute  will  makes  things  what  they  are.  Christ 
might  have  become  wood  or  stone  if  God  had  so  chosen. 
In  spite  of  Aristotle,  a  body  might  have  different  kinds  of 
motion  at  the  same  time.  In  the  department  of  morals, 
what  is  now  bad  might  have  been  good,  if  God  had  so 
willed  it. 

In  the  department  of  civil  government,  Ockam,  advocating 
the  position  taken  by  the  electors  at  Rense,  1338,  declared 
the  emperor  did  not  need  the  confirmation  of  the  pope.  The 
imperial  office  is  derived  immediately  from  God.1  The  Church 
is  a  priestly  institution,  administers  the  sacraments  and  shows 
men  the  way  of  salvation,  but  has  no  civil  jurisdiction,2  potes- 
tas  coactiva. 

The  final  seat  of  authority,  this  thinker  found  in  the  Scrip- 
tures. Truths  such  as  the  Trinity  and  the  incarnation  cannot 
be  deduced  by  argument.  The  being  of  God  cannot  be  proven 
from  the  so-called  idea  of  God.  A  plurality  of  gods  may  be 
proven  by  the  reason  as  well  as  the  existence  of  the  one  God. 
Popes  and  councils  may  err.  The  Bible  alone  is  inerrant. 
A  Christian  cannot  be  held  to  believe  anything  not  in  the 
Scriptures.8 

The  Church  is  the  community  of  the  faithful  —  communitas, 
or  congregatio  fideliumt  The  Roman  Church  is  not  identical 
with  it,  and  this  body  of  Christians  may  exist  independently 
of  the  Roman  Church.  If  the  pope  had  plenary  power,  the  law 
of  the  Gospel  would  be  more  galling  than  the  law  of  Moses. 

Werner,  III.  116.    The  expression  objective  in  mente  is  equivalent  to  our  word 
subjective. 

1  Imperialis  dignitas  et  potestas  cst  immediate  a  solo  Deo.    Goldast,  IV.  90, 
Frankf.  ed.    See  also  Dorner,  p.  675. 

2  Kropatscheck,    p.   65  sq.,  Matt.  30:25   sqq.      Clement    VI.   declared 
Ockam  had  sucked  his  political  heresies  from  Mareiglius  of  Padua. 

8  See  Riezler,  p.  273,  and  Seeberg,  pp.  271,  278,  Christianus  de  necessitate 
salutis  non  tenetur  ad  credendum  nee  credere  quod  nee  in  bibha  continetur 
nee  ex  solis  contentis  in  biblia  potest  consequentia  necessaria  et  manifesto, 
inferri. 

4  Itomana  ecclesia  eat  distincta  a  congregations  fldelium  et  potest  contra 
fldem  errare.  Ecclesia  autem  universalis  errare  non  potest.  See  Kropat- 
scheck,  p.  65  eqq.,  and  also  Dorner,  p.  606. 


§  20.     OCKAM  AND  THE  DECAY  OF  SCHOLASTICISM.     193 

All  would  then  be  the  pope's  slaves.1  The  papacy  is  not  a 
necessary  institution. 

In  the  doctrine  of  the  eucharist,  Ockam  represents  the 
traditional  view  as  less  probable  than  the  view  that  Christ's 
body  is  at  the  side  of  the  bread.  This  theory  of  impanation, 
which  Rupert  of  Deutz  taught,  approached  Luther's  theory  of 
consubstantiation.  However,  Ockam  accepted  the  Church's 
view,  because  it  was  the  less  intelligible  and  because  the  power 
of  God  is  unlimited.  John  of  Paris,  d.  1308,  had  compared 
the  presence  of  Christ  in  the  elements  to  the  co-existence  of 
two  natures  in  the  incarnation  and  was  deposed  from  his 
chair  at  the  University  of  Paris,  1304.  Gabriel  Biel  took  a 
similar  view.2 

Ockam's  views  on  the  authority  of  the  civil  power,  papal 
errancy,  the  infallibility  of  the  Scriptures  and  the  eucharist 
are  often  compared  with  the  views  of  Luther.8  The  German 
reformer  spoke  of  the  English  Schoolman  as  "  without  doubt 
the  leader  and  most  ingenious  of  the  Schoolmen" — scholas- 
ticorum  doctorum  sine  dubio  princeps  et  ingeniosissimus.  He 
called  him  his  "  dear  teacher,"  and  declared  himself  to  be  of 
Ockam's  party — sum  Occamicce  factionis.*  The  two  men  were, 
however,  utterly  unlike.  Ockam  was  a  theorist,  not  a  reformer, 
and  in  spite  of  his  bold  sayings,  remained  a  child  of  the 
mediaeval  age.  He  started  no  party  or  school  in  theologi- 
cal matters.  Luther  exalted  personal  faith  in  the  living 
Christ.  He  discovered  new  principles  in  the  Scriptures,  and 
made  them  the  active  forces  of  individual  and  national  belief 
and  practice.  We  might  think  of  Luther  as  an  Ockam  if  he 
had  lived  in  the  fourteenth  century.  We  cannot  think  of 
Ockam  as  a  reformer  in  the  sixteenth  century.  He  would 
scarcely  have  renounced  monkery.  Ockam's  merit  consists 
in  this  that,  in  common  with  Marsiglius  and  other  leaders  of 

1  See  Werner,  III.  120,  who  quotes  Scaliger  as  saying  of  Ockain,  omnium 
mortalium  subtillissimus,  cujus  ingenium  vetera  subvertit,  nova  ad  invictas 
insanias  et  incomprehensibiles  subtditates  fabricavit  et  conformavit. 

2  See  Werner,  D.  hi.  Thomas,  III.  Ill;  Harnack,  Dogmengesch.,  III.  494; 
Seeberg,  276. 

*  For  example,  Kropatscheck,  especially  p.  66  sqq.,  and  Seeberg,  p.  289. 
«  Weimar,  ed.  VI.  183, 195,  600,  as  quoted  by  Seeberg. 
o 


194  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

thought,  he  imbibed  the  new  spirit  of  free  discussion,  and  was 
bold  enough  to  assail  the  traditional  dogmas  of  his  time. 
In  this  way  he  contributed  to  the  unsettlement  of  the  perni- 
cious mediaeval  theory  of  the  seat  of  authority. 

§  21.    Catherine  of  Siena^  the  Saint. 

Next  to  Francis  d'Assisi,  the  most  celebrated  of  the  Italian 
saints  is  Catherine  of  Siena  —  Caterina  da  Siena  — 1347-1380. 
With  Elizabeth  of  Thuringia,  who  lived  more  than  a  century 
before  her,  she  is  the  most  eminent  of  the  holy  women  of  the 
Middle  Ages  whom  the  Church  has  canonized.  Her  fame  de- 
pends upon  her  single-hearted  piety  and  her  efforts  to  advance 
the  interests  of  the  Church  and  her  nation.  She  left  no  order 
to  encourage  the  reverence  for  her  name.  She  was  the  most 
public  of  all  the  women  of  the  Middle  Ages  in  Italy,  and  yet 
she  passed  unscathed  and  without  a  taint  through  streets  and 
in  courts.  Now,  as  the  daughter  of  an  humble  citizen  of  Siena, 
she  ministers  to  the  poor  and  the  sick:  now,  as  the  prophetess 
of  heaven,  she  appeals  to  the  conscience  of  popes  and  of  com- 
monwealths. Her  native  Sienese  have  sanctified  her  with  the 
fragrant  name  la  beata  poplana,  the  blessed  daughter  of  the 
people.  Although  much  in  her  career,  as  it  has  been  handed 
down  by  her  confessor  and  biographer,  may  seem  to  be 
legendary,  and  although  the  hysterical  element  may  not  be 
altogether  wanting  from  her  piety,  she  yet  deserves  and  will 
have  the  admiration  of  all  men  who  are  moved  by  the  sight 
of  a  noble  enthusiasm.  It  would  require  a  fanatical  severity 
to  read  the  account  of  her  unwearied  efforts  and  the  letters, 
into  which  she  equally  poured  the  fire  of  her  soul,  without 
feeling  that  the  Sienese  saint  was  a  very  remarkable  woman, 
the  Florence  Nightingale  of  her  time  or  more,  "  one  of  the  most 
wonderful  women  that  have  ever  lived,"  as  her  most  recent 
English  biographer  has  pronounced  her.  Or,  shall  we  join 
Gregorovius,  the  thorough  student  of  mediaeval  Rome,  in 
saying,  "  Catherine's  figure  flits  like  that  of  an  angel:  through 
the  darkness  of  her  time,  over  which  her  gracious  genius 
sheds  a  soft  radiance.  Her  life  is  more  worthy  and  assuredly 


§  21.      CATHERINE  OF  SIENA,  THE  SAINT.  195 

a  more  human  subject  for  history  than  the  lives  of  the  popes 
of  her  age."1 

Catherine  Benincasa  was  the  twenty-third  of  a  family  of 
twenty-five  children.  Her  twin  sister,  Giovanna,  died  in  in- 
fancy. Her  father  was  a  dyer  in  prosperous  circumstances. 
Her  mother,  Monna  Lapa,  survived  the  daughter.  Catherine 
treated  her  with  filial  respect,  wrote  her  letters,  several  of 
which  are  extant,  and  had  her  with  her  on  journeys  and  in 
Rome  during  her  last  days  there.  Catherine  had  no  school 
training,  and  her  knowledge  of  reading  and  writing  she  ac- 
quired after  she  was  grown  up. 

As  a  child  she  was  susceptible  to  religious  impressions, 
and  frequented  the  Dominican  church  near  her  father's 
home.  The  miracles  of  her  earlier  childhood  were  reported 
by  her  confessor  and  biographer,  Raymund  of  Capua.  At 
twelve  her  parents  arranged  for  her  a  marriage,  but  to  avoid 
it  Catherine  cut  off  her  beautiful  hair.  She  joined  the  ter- 
tiary order  of  the  Dominicans,  the  women  adherents  being 
called  the  mantellate  from  their  black  mantles.  Raymuud 
declares  "  that  nature  had  not  given  her  a  face  over-fair," 
and  her  personal  appearance  was  marred  by  the  marks  of 
the  smallpox.  And  yet  she  had  a  winning  expression,  a 
fund  of  good  spirits,  and  sang  and  laughed  heartily.  Once 
devoted  to  a  religious  life,  she  practised  great  austerities, 
flagellating  herself  three  times  a  day,  —  once  for  herself, 
once  for  the  living  and  once  for  the  dead.  She  wore  a  hair 
undergarment  and  an  iron  chain.  During  one  Lenten  sea- 
son she  lived  on  the  bread  taken  in  communion.  These  asceti- 
cisms were  performed  in  a  chamber  in  her  father's  house. 
She  was  never  an  inmate  of  a  convent.  Such  extreme  asceti- 
cisms as  she  practised  upon  herself  she  disparaged  at  a  later 
period. 

At  an  early  age  Catherine  became  the  subject  of  visions 
and  revelations.  On  one  of  these  occasions  and  after  hours 
of  dire  temptation,  when  she  was  tempted  to  live  like  other 
girls,  the  Saviour  appeared  to  her  stretched  on  the  cross  and 
said :  "  My  own  daughter,  Catherine,  seest  thou  how  much  I 

1  Gardner,  p.  vii ;  Gregorovius,  VI.  521  sqq. 


196  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

have  suffered  for  thee  ?  Let  it  not  be  hard  for  thee  to  suffer 
for  me."  Thrilled  with  the  address,  she  asked:  "Where  wert 
thou,  Lord,  when  I  was  tempted  with  such  impurity?"  and  He 
replied,  "In  thy  heart."  In  1367,  according  to  her  own 
statement,  the  Saviour  betrothed  himself  to  her,  putting  a 
ring  on  her  finger.  The  ring  was  ever  afterwards  visible  to 
herself  though  unseen  by  others.  Five  years  before  her  death, 
she  received  the  stigmata  directly  from  Christ.  Their  im- 
pression gave  sharp  pain,  and  Catherine  insisted  that,  though 
they  likewise  were  invisible  to  others,  they  were  real  to  her. 

In  obedience  to  a  revelation,  Catherine  renounced  the 
retired  life  she  had  been  living,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty 
began  to  appear  in  public  and  perform  the  active  offices  of 
charity.  This  was  in  1367.  She  visited  the  poor  and  sick, 
and  soon  became  known  as  the  ministering  angel  of  the 
whole  city.  During  the  plague  of  1374,  she  was  indefati- 
gable by  day  and  night,  healed  those  of  whom  the  physicians 
despaired,  and  she  even  raised  the  dead.  The  lepers  outside 
the  city  walls  she  did  not  neglect. 

One  of  the  remarkable  incidents  in  her  career  which  she 
vouches  for  in  one  of  her  letters  to  Raymund  was  her  treat- 
ment of  Niccolo  Tuldo,  a  young  nobleman  condemned  to  die 
for  having  uttered  words  disrespectful  of  the  city  govern- 
ment. The  young  man  was  in  despair,  but  under  Catherine's 
influence  he  not  only  regained  composure,  but  became  joyful 
in  the  prospect  of  death.  Catherine  was  with  him  at  the 
block  and  held  his  head.  She  writes,  "  I  have  just  received 
a  head  into  my  hands  which  was  to  me  of  such  sweetness  as 
no  heart  can  think,  or  tongue  describe."  Before  the  execu- 
tion she  accompanied  the  unfortunate  man  to  the  mass,  where 
he  received  the  communion  for  the  first  time.  His  last  words 
were  "  naught  but  Jesus  and  Catherine.  And,  so  saying," 
wrote  his  benefactress,  "I  received  his  head  in  my  hands." 
She  then  saw  him  received  of  Christ,  and  as  she  further 
wrote,  "  When  he  was  at  rest,  my  soul  rested  in  peace,  in  so 
great  fragrance  of  blood  that  I  could  not  bear  to  remove  the 
blood  which  had  fallen  on  me  from  him." 

The  fame  of  such  a  woman  could  not  be  held  within  the 


§  21.      CATHERINE  OP  SIENA,  THE  SAINT.  197 

walls  of  her  native  city.  Neighboring  cities  and  even  the 
pope  in  Avignon  heard  of  her  deeds  of  charity  and  her  rev- 
elations. The  guide  of  minds  seeking  the  consolations  of 
religion,  the  minister  to  the  sick  and  dying,  Catherine  now 
entered  into  the  wider  sphere  of  the  political  life  of  Italy  and 
the  welfare  of  the  Church.  Her  concern  was  divided  between 
efforts  to  support  the  papacy  and  to  secure  the  amelioration 
of  the  clergy  and  establish  peace.  With  the  zeal  of  a  prophet, 
she  urged  upon  Gregory  XI.  to  return  to  Rome.  She  sought 
to  prevent  the  rising  of  the  Tuscan  cities  against  the  Avignon 
popes  and  to  remove  the  interdict  which  was  launched  against 
Florence,  and  she  supported  Urban  VI.  against  the  anti-pope, 
Clement  VII.  With  equal  fervor  she  urged  Gregory  to  insti- 
tute a  reformation  of  the  clergy,  to  allow  no  weight  to  consid- 
erations of  simony  and  flattery  in  choosing  cardinals  and  pastors 
and  "  to  drive  out  of  the  sheep-fold  those  wolves,  those  demons 
incarnate,  who  think  only  of  good  cheer,  splendid  feasts  and  su- 
perb liveries."  She  also  was  zealous  in  striving  to  stir  up  the 
flames  of  a  new  crusade.  To  Sir  John  Hawkwood,  the  free- 
lance and  terror  of  the  peninsula,  she  wrote,  calling  upon  him 
that,  as  he  took  such  pleasure  in  fighting,  he  should  thenceforth 
no  longer  direct  his  arms  against  Christians,  but  against  the 
infidels.  She  communicated  to  the  Queen  of  Cyprus  on  the 
subject.  Again  and  again  she  urged  it  upon  Gregory  XI., 
and  chiefly  on  the  grounds  that  he  "  might  minister  the  blood 
of  the  Lamb  to  the  wretched  infidels,"  and  that  converted,  they 
might  aid  in  driving  pride  and  other  vices  out  of  the  Christian 
world.1 

Commissioned  by  Gregory,  she  journeyed  to  Pisa  to  influ- 
ence the  city  in  his  favor.  She  was  received  with  honors  by 
the  archbishop  and  the  head  of  jbhe  republic,  and  won  over  two 
professors  who  visited  her  with  the  purpose  of  showing  her 
she  was  self -deceived  or  worse.  She  told  them  that  it  was 
not  important  for  her  to  know  how  God  had  created  the  world, 
but  that  "  it  was  essential  to  know  that  the  Son  of  God  had 
taken  our  human  nature  and  lived  and  died  for  our  salva- 
tion." One  of  the  professors,  removing  his  crimson  velvet 

*  Scudder,  Letters,  pp.  100,  121,  136,  179,  184,  284,  etc. 


198  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

cap,  knelt  before  her  and  asked  for  forgiveness.  Catherine's 
cures  of  the  sick  won  the  confidence  of  the  people.  On  this 
visit  she  was  accompanied  by  her  mother  and  a  group  of  like- 
minded  women. 

A  large  chapter  in  Catherine's  life  is  interwoven  with  the 
history  of  Florence.  The  spirit  of  revolt  against  the  Avi- 
gnon regime  was  rising  in  upper  Italy  and,  when  the  papal 
legate  in  Bologna,  in  a  year  of  dearth,  forbade  the  transpor- 
tation of  provisions  to  Florence,  it  broke  out  into  war.  At 
the  invitation  of  the  Florentines,  Catherine  visited  the  city, 
1375  and,  a  year  later,  was  sent  as  a  delegate  to  Avignon 
to  negotiate  terms  of  peace.  She  was  received  with  honor 
by  the  pope,  but  not  without  hesitancy.  The  other  mem- 
bers of  the  delegation,  when  they  arrived,  refused  to  recog- 
nize her  powers  and  approve  her  methods.  The  cardinals 
treated  her  coolly  or  with  contempt,  and  women  laid  snares 
at  her  devotions  to  bring  ridicule  upon  her.  Such  an  at- 
tempt was  made  by  the  pope's  niece,  Madame  de  Beaufort 
Turenne,  who  knelt  at  her  side  and  ran  a  sharp  knife  into 
her  foot  so  that  she  limped  from  the  wound. 

The  dyer's  daughter  now  turned  her  attention  to  the  task 
of  confirming  the  supreme  pontiff  in  his  purpose  to  return 
to  Rome  and  counteract  the  machinations  of  the  cardinals 
against  its  execution.  Seeing  her  desire  realized,  she 
started  back  for  Italy  and,  met  by  her  mother  at  Leg- 
horn, went  on  to  Florence,  carrying  a  commission  from  the 
pope.  Her  effort  to  induce  the  city  to  bow  to  the  sentence 
of  interdict,  which  had  been  laid  upon  it,  was  in  a  measure 
successful.  Her  reverence  for  the  papal  office  demanded 
passive  obedience.  Gregory's  successor,  Urban  VI.,  lifted 
the  ban.  Catherine  then  returned  to  Siena  where  she  dic- 
tated the  Dialogue,  a  mystical  treatise  inculcating  prayer, 
obedience,  discretion  and  other  virtues.  Catherine  declared 
that  God  alone  had  been  her  guide  in  its  composition. 

In  the  difficulties,  which  arose  soon  after  Urban's  election, 
that  pontiff  looked  to  Siena  and  called  its  distinguished 
daughter  to  Rome.  They  had  met  in  Avignon.  Accom- 
panied by  her  mother  and  other  companions,  she  reached 


§  21.      CATHERINE  OF  SIENA,   THE  SAINT.  199 

the  holy  city  in  the  Autumn  of  1378.  They  occupied  a 
house  by  themselves  and  lived  upon  alms.1  Her  summons 
to  Urban  "  to  battle  only  with  the  weapons  of  repentance, 
prayer,  virtue  and  love"  were  not  heeded.  Her  presence, 
however,  had  a  beneficent  influence,  and  on  one  occasion, 
when  the  mob  raged  and  poured  into  the  Vatican,  she  ap- 
peared as  a  peacemaker,  and  the  sight  of  her  face  and  her 
words  quieted  the  tumult. 

She  died  lying  on  boards,  April  29,  1380.  To  her  com- 
panions standing  at  her  side,  she  said :  "  Dear  children,  let 
not  my  death  sadden  you,  rather  rejoice  to  think  that  I  am 
leaving  a  place  of  many  sufferings  to  go  to  rest  in  the  quiet 
sea,  the  eternal  God,  and  to  be  united  forever  with  my 
most  sweet  and  loving  Bridegroom.  And  I  promise  to  be 
with  you  more  and  to  be  more  useful  to  you,  since  I  leave 
darkness  to  pass  into  the  true  and  everlasting  light." 
Again  and  again  she  whispered,  "  I  have  sinned,  O  Lord ; 
be  merciful  to  me."  She  prayed  for  Urban,  for  the  whole 
Church  and  for  her  companions,  and  then  she  departed, 
repeating  the  words,  "  Into  thy  hands  I  commit  my  spirit." 

At  the  time  of  her  death  Catherine  of  Siena  was  not  yet 
thirty-three  years  old.  A  magnificent  funeral  was  ordered 
by  Urban.  A  year  after,  her  head,  enclosed  in  a  reliquary, 
was  sent  to  her  native  Siena,  and  in  1461  she  was  canon- 
ized by  the  city's  famous  son,  pope  Pius  II.,  who  uttered 
the  high  praise  "that  none  ever  approached  her  without 
going  away  better."  In  1865  when  Santa  Maria  sopra 
Minerva  in  Rome  was  reopened,  her  ashes  were  carried 
through  the  streets,  the  silver  urn  containing  them  being 
borne  by  four  bishops.  Lamps  are  kept  ever  burning  at 
the  altar  dedicated  to  her  in  the  church.  In  1866  Pius  IX. 
elevated  the  dyer's  daughter  to  the  dignity  of  patron  saint 
and  protectress  of  Rome,  a  dignity  she  shares  with  the 
prince  of  the  Apostles.  With  Petrarch  she  had  been  the 
most  ardent  advocate  of  its  claims  as  the  papal  residence, 
and  her  zeal  was  exclusively  religious. 

1  Gardner,  p.  298,  says  one  of  the  two  houses  is  still  shown  where  they 
dwelt. 


200  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

In  her  correspondence  and  Dialogue  we  have  the  biography 
of  Catherine's  soul.  Nearly  four  hundred  of  her  letters  are 
extant. l  Not  only  have  they  a  place  of  eminence  as  the  revela- 
tions of  a  saintly  woman's  thoughts  and  inner  life,  but  are,  next 
to  the  letters  written  by  Petrarch,  the  chief  specimens  of 
epistolary  literature  of  the  fourteenth  century.  She  wrote 
to  persons  of  all  classes,  to  her  mother,  the  recluse  in  the 
cloister,  her  confessor,  Raymund  of  Capua,  to  men  and  women 
addicted  to  the  pleasures  of  the  world,  to  the  magistrates  of 
cities,  queens  and  kings,  to  cardinals,  and  to  the  popes,  Greg- 
ory XI.  and  Urban  VI.,  gave  words  of  counsel,  set  forth  at 
length  measures  and  motives  of  action,  used  the  terms  of 
entreaty  and  admonition,  and  did  not  hesitate  to  employ 
threats  of  divine  judgment,  as  in  writing  to  the  Queen  of 
Naples.  They  abound  in  wise  counsels. 

The  correspondence  shows  that  Catherine  had  some  ac- 
quaintance with  the  New  Testament  from  which  she  quotes 
the  greater  precepts  and  draws  descriptions  from  the  miracle  of 
the  water  changed  into  wine  and  the  expulsion  of  the  money- 
changers from  the  temple  and  such  parables  as  the  ten  virgins 
and  the  marriage-feast.  One  of  her  most  frequent  expressions 
is  the  blood  of  Christ,  and  in  truly  mystical  or  conventual 
manner  she  bids  her  correspondents,  even  the  pope  and  the 
cardinals,  bathe  and  drown  and  inebriate  themselves  in  it,  yea, 
to  clothe  and  fill  themselves  with  it,  "  for  Christ  did  not  buy 
us  with  gold  or  silver  or  pearls  or  other  precious  stones,  but 
with  his  own  precious  blood."2 

To  Catherine  the  religious  life  was  a  subjection  of  the  will 
to  the  will  of  God  and  the  outgoing  of  the  soul  in  exercises 
of  prayer  and  the  practice  of  love.  "  I  want  you  to  wholly 
destroy  your  own  will  that  it  may  cling  to  Christ  crucified." 
So  she  wrote  to  a  mother  bereft  of  her  children.  Writing 
to  the  recluse,  Bartolomea  della  Seta,  she  represented  the 
Saviour  as  saying,  "  Sin  and  virtue  consist  in  the  consent  of 
the  will,  there  is  no  sin  or  virtue  unless  voluntarily  wrought." 

1  None  of  these  are  in  her  own  hand,  but  six  of  them  are  originals  as  they 
were  written  down  at  her  dictation.     Gardner,  p.  xii.,  373  sqq. 
*  Letters,  pp.  64,  65,  75,  110,  158,  164,  226,  263,  283,  etc. 


§  21.      CATHERINE  OF  SIENA,  THE  SAINT.  201 

To  another  she  wrote,  "  I  have  already  seen  many  penitents 
who  have  been  neither  patient  nor  obedient  because  they  have 
studied  to  kill  their  bodies  but  not  their  wills." 1 

Her  sound  religious  philosophy  showed  itself  in  insisting 
again  and  again  that  outward  discipline  is  not  the  only  or 
always  the  best  way  to  secure  the  victory  of  the  spirit.  If 
the  body  is  weak  or  fallen  into  illness,  the  rule  of  discretion 
sets  aside  the  exercises  of  bodily  discipline.  She  wrote, 
"  Not  only  should  fasting  be  abandoned  but  flesh  be  eaten  and, 
if  once  a  day  is  not  enough,  then  four  times  a  day."  Again 
and  again  she  treats  of  penance  as  an  instrument.  "The 
little  good  of  penance  may  hinder  the  greater  good  of  in- 
ward piety.  Penance  cuts  off,"  so  she  wrote  in  a  remarkable 
letter  to  Sister  Daniella  of  Orvieto,  "yet  thou  wilt  always 
find  the  root  in  thee,  ready  to  sprout  again,  but  virtue  pulls 
up  by  the  root." 

Monastic  as  Catherine  was,  yet  no  evangelical  guide-book 
could  write  more  truly  than  she  did  in  most  particulars. 
And  at  no  point  does  this  noble  woman  rise  higher  than 
when  she  declined  to  make  her  own  states  the  standard  for 
others,  and  condemned  those  "who,  indiscreetly,  want  to 
measure  all  bodies  by  one  and  the  same  measure,  the  meas- 
ure by  which  they  measure  themselves."  Writing  to  her 
niece,  Nanna  Benincasa,  she  compared  the  heart  to  a  lamp, 
wide  above  and  narrow  below.  A  bride  of  Christ  must  have 
lamp  and  oil  and  light.  The  heart  should  be  wide  above, 
filled  with  holy  thoughts  and  prayer,  bearing  in  memory  the 
blessings  of  God,  especially  the  blessing  of  the  blood  by 
which  we  are  bought.  And  like  a  lamp,  it  should  be  narrow 
below,  "  not  loving  or  desiring  earthly  things  in  excess  nor 
hungering  for  more  than  God  wills  to  give  us." 

To  the  Christian  virtues  of  prayer  and  love  she  contin- 
ually returns.  Christian  love  is  compared  to  the  sea,  peace- 
ful and  profound  as  God  Himself,  for  "God  is  love."  This 
passage  throws  light  upon  the  unsearchable  mystery  of  the 
Incarnate  Word  who,  constrained  by  love,  gave  Himself  up 
in  all  humility.  We  love  because  we  are  loved.  He  loves 
i  Letters,  pp.  43, 102, 162, 149. 


202  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

of  grace,  and  we  love  Him  of  duty  because  we  are  bound  to 
do  so;  and  to  show  our  love  to  Him  we  ought  to  serve  and 
love  every  rational  creature  and  extend  our  love  to  good  and 
bad,  to  all  kinds  of  people,  as  much  to  one  who  does  us  ill  as 
to  one  who  serves  us,  for  God  is  no  respecter  of  persons,  and 
His  charity  extends  to  just  men  and  sinners.  Peter's  love 
before  Pentecost  was  sweet  but  not  strong.  After  Pentecost 
he  loved  as  a  son,  bearing  all  tribulations  with  patience.  So 
we,  too,  if  we  remain  in  vigil  and  continual  prayer  and  tarry 
ten  days,  shall  receive  the  plenitude  of  the  Spirit.  More 
than  once  in  her  letters  to  Gregory,  she  bursts  out  into  a 
eulogy  of  love  as  the  remedy  for  all  evils.  "  The  soul  can- 
not live  without  love,"  she  wrote  in  the  Dialogue,  "  but  must 
always  love  something,  for  it  was  created  through  love. 
Affection  moves  the  understanding,  as  it  were,  saying,  4 1 
want  to  love,  for  the  food  wherewith  I  am  fed  is  love. '  " l 

Such  directions  as  these  render  Catherine's  letters  a  valua- 
ble manual  of  religious  devotion,  especially  to  those  who  are 
on  their  guard  against  being  carried  away  by  the  underly- 
ing quietistic  tone.  Not  only  do  they  have  a  high  place  as 
the  revelation  of  a  pious  woman's  soul.  They  deal  with 
unconcealed  boldness  and  candor  with  the  low  conditions 
into  which  the  Church  was  fallen.  Popes  are  called  upon  to 
institute  reforms  in  the  appointment  of  clergymen  and  to 
correct  abuses  in  other  directions.  As  for  the  pacification 
of  the  Tuscan  cities,  a  cause  which  lay  so  close  to  Catherine's 
heart,  she  urged  the  pontiff  to  use  the  measures  of  peace  and 
not  of  war,  to  deal  as  a  father  would  deal  with  a  rebellious  son, 
—  to  put  into  practice  clemency,  not  the  pride  of  authority. 
Then  the  very  wolves  would  nestle  in  his  bosom  like  lambs.2 

As  for  the  pope's  return  to  Rome,  she  urged  it  as  a  duty 
he  owed  to  God  who  had  made  him  His  vicar.  In  view  of 
the  opposition  on  the  Rhone,  almost  holding  him  as  by  phys- 
ical force,  she  called  upon  him  "  to  play  the  man,"  "  to  be  a 
manly  man,  free  from  fear  and  fleshly  love  towards  himself 
or  towards  any  creature  related  to  him  by  kin,"  "  to  be  stable 

1  Scudder,  Letters,  pp.  81,  84,  126  sq.;  Gardner,  Life,  p.  377. 
9  Letters,  p.  133. 


§  21.      CATHERINE  OF  SIENA,   THE  SAINT.  203 

in  his  resolution  and  to  believe  and  trust  in  Christ  in  spite 
of  all  predictions  of  the  evil  to  follow  his  return  to  Rome."  * 
To  this  impassioned  Tuscan  woman,  the  appointment  of  un- 
worthy shepherds  and  bad  rectors  was  responsible  for  the 
rebellion  against  papal  authority,  shepherds  who,  consumed 
by  self-love,  far  from  dragging  Christ's  sheep  away  from  the 
wolves,  devoured  the  very  sheep  themselves.  It  was  because 
they  did  not  follow  the  true  Shepherd  who  has  given  His  life 
for  the  sheep.  Likening  the  Church  to  a  garden,  she  invoked 
the  pope  to  uproot  the  malodorous  plants  full  of  avarice, 
impurity  and  pride,  to  throw  them  away  that  the  bad  priests 
and  rulers  who  poison  the  garden  might  no  longer  have  rule. 
To  Urban  VI.  she  addressed  burning  words  of  condemna- 
tion. "Your  sons  nourish  themselves  on  the  wealth  they 
receive  by  ministering  the  blood  of  Christ,  and  are  not 
ashamed  of  being  money-changers.  In  their  great  avarice 
they  commit  simonies,  buying  benefices  with  gifts  or  flat- 
teries or  gold."  And  to  the  papal  legate  of  Bologna,  Car- 
dinal d'Estaing,  she  wrote,  "  make  the  holy  father  consider  the 
loss  of  souls  more  than  the  loss  of  cities,  for  God  demands 
souls." 

The  stress  Catherine  laid  upon  the  pope's  responsibility 
to  God  and  her  passionate  reproof  of  an  unworthy  and  hire- 
ling ministry,  inclined  some  to  give  her  a  place  among 
the  heralds  of  the  Protestant  Reformation.  Flacius  Illyri- 
cus  included  her  in  the  list  of  his  witnesses  for  the  truth 
—  Catalogue  testium  veritatis.*  With  burning  warmth  she 
spoke  of  a  thorough -going  reformation  which  was  to  come 
upon  the  Church.  "  The  bride,  now  all  deformed  and  clothed 
in  rags,"  she  exclaimed,  "  will  then  gleam  with  beauty  and 
jewels,  and  be  crowned  with  the  diadem  of  all  virtues.  All 
believing  nations  will  rejoice  to  have  excellent  shepherds, 
and  the  unbelieving  world,  attracted  by  her  glory,  will  be 

1  Letters,  pp.  66, 185,  232,  etc. 

a  Dttllinger,  Fables  and  Prophecies  of  the  Middle  Ages,  p.  330,  calls  atten- 
tion to  the  failure  of  Catherine's  predictions  to  reach  fulfilment.  "  How  little 
have  these  longings  of  the  devout  maiden  of  Siena  been  transformed  into 
history ! " 


204  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

converted  unto  her."  Infidel  peoples  would  be  brought  into 
the  Catholic  fold,  —  ovile  catholicum,  —  and  be  converted 
unto  the  true  pastor  and  bishop  of  souls.  But  Catherine, 
admirable  as  these  sentiments  were,  moved  within  the  limits 
of  the  mediaeval  Church.  She  placed  piety  back  of  peni- 
tential exercises  in  love  and  prayer  and  patience,  but  she 
never  passed  beyond  the  ascetic  and  conventual  conception 
of  the  Christian  life  into  the  open  air  of  liberty  through 
faith.  She  had  the  spirit  of  Savonarola,  the  spirit  of  fiery  self- 
sacrifice  for  the  well-being  of  her  people  and  the  regeneration 
of  Christendom,  but  she  did  not  see  beyond  the  tradition  of  the 
past.  Living  a  hundred  years  and  more  before  the  Floren- 
tine prophet,  she  was  excelled  by  none  in  her  own  age  and 
approached  by  none  of  her  own  nation  in  the  century  be- 
tween her  and  Savonarola,  in  passionate  effort  to  save  her 
people  and  help  spread  righteousness.  Hers  was  the  voice 
of  the  prophet,  crying  in  the  wilderness,  "  Prepare  ye  the  way 
of  the  Lord.'' 

In  recalling  the  women  of  the  century  from  1350  to  1450, 
the  mind  easily  associates  together  Catherine  of  Siena  and 
Joan  of  Arc,  1411-1431,  one  the  passionate  advocate  of  the 
Church,  the  other  of  the  national  honor  of  France.  The 
Maid  of  Orleans,  born  of  peasant  parentage,  was  only  twenty 
when  she  was  burnt  at  the  stake  on  the  streets  of  Rouen,  1431. 
Differing  from  her  Italian  sister  by  comeliness  of  form  and 
robustness  of  constitution,  she  also,  as  she  thought,  was  the 
subject  of  angelic  communications  and  divine  guidance.  Her 
unselfish  devotion  to  her  country  at  first  brought  it  victory, 
but,  at  last,  to  her  capture  and  death.  Her  trial  by  the  Eng- 
lish on  the  charges  of  heresy  and  sorcery  and  her  execution 
are  a  dark  sheet  among  the  pages  of  her  century's  history. 
Twenty-five  years  after  her  death,  the  pope  revoked  the 
sentence,  and  the  French  heroine,  whose  standard  was 
embroidered  with  lilies  and  adorned  with  pictures  of  the 
creation  and  the  annunciation,  was  beatified,  1909,  and  now 
awaits  the  crown  of  canonization  from  Rome.  The  exalted 
passion  of  these  two  women,  widely  as  they  differ  in  methods 
and  ideals  and  in  the  close  of  their  careers,  diffuses  a  bright 


§  22.    PETER  D'AILLY,  ECCLESIASTICAL  STATESMAN.    205 

light  over  the  selfish  pursuits  of  their  time,  and  makes  the 
aims  of  many  of  its  courts  look  low  and  grovelling. 

§  22.   Peter  d'Ailly,  Ecclesiastical  Statesman. 

One  of  the  most  prominent  figures  in  the  negotiations  for 
the  healing  of  the  papal  schism,  as  well  as  one  of  the  fore- 
most personages  of  his  age,  was  Peter  d'Ailly,  born  in  Com- 
piegne  1350,  died  in  Avignon  1420.  His  eloquence,  which 
reminds  us  of  Bossuet  and  other  French  orators  of  the  court 
of  Louis  XIV.,  won  for  him  the  title  of  the  Eagle  of  France — 
aquila  Francia.1 

In  1372  he  entered  the  College  of  Navarre  as  a  theologi- 
cal student,  prepared  a  commentary  on  the  Sentences  of  the 
Lombard  three  years  later,  and  in  1380  reached  the  theologi- 
cal doctorate.  He  at  once  became  involved  in  the  measures 
for  the  healing  of  the  schism,  and  in  1381  delivered  a  cele- 
brated address  in  the  name  of  the  university  before  the  French 
regent,  the  duke  of  Anjou,  to  win  the  court  for  the  policy  of 
settling  the  papal  controversy  through  a  general  council. 
His  appeal  not  meeting  with  favor,  he  retired  to  Noyon,  from 
which  he  wrote  a  letter  purporting  to  come  from  the  devil, 
a  satire  based  on  the  continuance  of  the  schism,  in  which 
the  prince  of  darkness  called  upon  his  friends  and  vassals, 
the  prelates,  to  follow  his  example  in  promoting  division  in 
the  Church.  He  warned  them  as  their  overlord  that  the 
holding  of  a  council  might  result  in  establishing  peace  and 
so  bring  eternal  shame  upon  them.  He  urged  them  to  con- 
tinue to  make  the  Church  a  house  of  merchandise  and  to  be 
careful  to  tithe  anise  and  cummin,  to  make  broad  the  bor- 
ders of  their  garments  and  in  every  other  way  to  do  as  he 
had  given  them  an  example.2 

In  1384  D'Ailly  was  made  head  of  the  College  of  Navarre, 
where  he  had  Gerson  for  a  pupil,  and  in  1389  chancellor  of 
the  university. 

1  Tschackert,  Salembier  and  Finke  consider  D'Ailly  under  the  three  aspects 
of  theologian,  philosopher  and  ecclesiastical  diplomatist  Lenz  and  Bess  em- 
phasize the  part  he  played  as  an  advocate  of  French  policy  against  England. 

*JBpistola  dtoboli  leviathan.  Ttchackert  gives  the  text,  Appendix,  pp.  16-21. 


206  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

When  Benedict  XIII.  was  chosen  successor  to  Clement 
VII.,  he  was  sent  by  the  French  king  on  a  confidential 
mission  to  Avignon.  Benedict  won  his  allegiance  and  ap- 
pointed him  successively  bishop  of  Puy,  1395,  and  bishop  of 
Cambray,  1397.  D'Ailly  was  with  Benedict  at  Genoa,  1405, 
and  Savona,  1407,  but  by  that  time  seems  to  have  come  to  the 
conclusion  that  Benedict  was  not  sincere  in  his  profession  of 
readiness  to  resign,  and  returned  to  Cambray.  In  his  absence 
Cambray  had  decided  for  the  subtraction  of  its  allegiance 
from  Avignon.  D'Ailly  was  seized  and  taken  to  Paris,  but 
protected  by  the  king,  who  was  his  friend.  Thenceforth  he 
favored  the  assemblage  of  a  general  council. 

At  Pisa  and  at  Constance,  D'Ailly  took  the  position  that 
a  general  council  is  superior  to  the  pope  and  may  depose 
him.  Made  a  cardinal  by  John  XXIII.,  1411,  he  attended 
the  council  held  at  Rome  the  following  year  and  in  vain 
tried  to  have  a  reform  of  the  calendar  put  through.  At 
Constance,  he  took  the  position  that  the  Pisan  council, 
though  it  was  called  by  the  Spirit  and  represented  the 
Church  universal,  might  have  erred,  as  did  other  councils 
reputed  to  be  general  councils.  He  declared  that  the  three 
synods  of  Pisa,  Rome  and  Constance,  though  not  one  body, 
yet  were  virtually  one,  even  as  the  stream  of  the  Rhine  at 
different  points  is  one  and  the  same.  It  was  not  necessary, 
so  he  held,  for  the  Council  of  Constance  to  pass  acts  confirm- 
ing the  Council  of  Pisa,  for  the  two  were  on  a  par.1 

In  the  proceedings  against  John  XXIII.,  the  cardinal  took 
sides  against  him.  He  was  the  head  of  the  commission  which 
tried  Huss  in  matters  of  faith,  June  7,  8, 1415,  and  was  present 
when  the  sentence  of  death  was  passed  upon  that  Reformer. 
At  the  close  of  the  council  he  appears  as  one  of  the  three 
candidates  for  the  office  of  pope,  and  his  defeat  was  a  disap- 
pointment to  the  French.2  He  was  appointed  legate  by 

1  These  judgments  are  expressed  in  the  Capita  agendorum,  a  sort  of 
programme  for  the  guidance  of  the  council  prepared  by  D'Ailly,  1414.  Finke, 
Forschungcn,  pp.  102-132,  has  no  doubt  that  they  proceeded  from  D'Ailly's 
pen,  a  view  confirmed  by  MSS.  in  Vienna  and  Rome.  Finke  gives  a  resume* 
of  the  articles,  the  original  of  which  is  given  by  van  der  Hardt.,  II.  201  sqq. 
and  Mansi,  XXVII.  647.  *  Tschackert,  p.  205. 


§  23.      JOHN  GERSON.  207 

Martin  V.,  with  his  residence  at  Avignon,  and  spent  his  last 
days  there. 

D'Ailly  followed  Ockam  as  a  nominalist.  To  his  writings 
in  the  departments  of  philosophy,  theology  and  Church  gov- 
ernment he  added  works  on  astronomy  and  geography  and 
a  much-read  commentary  on  Aristotle's  meteorology.1  His 
work  on  geography,  The  Picture  of  the  World,  —  imago  mundi, 
—  written  1410,  was  a  favorite  book  with  Columbus.  A 
printed  copy  of  it  containing  marginal  notes  in  the  navi- 
gator's own  hand  is  preserved  in  the  biblioteca  Colombina, 
Seville.  This  copy  he  probably  had  with  him  on  his  third 
journey  to  America,  for,  in  writing  from  Hayti,  1498,  he 
quoted  at  length  the  eighth  chapter.  Leaning  chiefly  upon 
Roger  Bacon,  the  author  represented  the  coast  of  India  or 
Cathay  as  stretching  far  in  the  direction  of  Europe,  so  that, 
in  a  favorable  wind,  a  ship  sailing  westwards  would  reach  it 
in  a  few  days.  This  idea  was  in  the  air,  but  it  is  possible 
that  it  was  first  impressed  upon  the  mind  of  the  discoverer 
of  the  New  World  by  the  reading  of  D'Ailly's  work.  Hum- 
boldt  was  the  first  to  show  its  value  for  the  history  of  dis- 
covery.2 

§  23.     John  G-erwn,  Theologian  and  Church  Leader. 

In  John  Gerson,  1363-1429,  we  have  the  most  attractive 
and  the  most  influential  theological  leader  of  the  first  half 
of  the  fifteenth  century.  He  was  intimately  identified  with 
the  University  of  Paris  as  professor  and  as  its  chancellor 
in  the  period  of  its  most  extensive  influence  in  Europe. 
His  voice  carried  great  weight  in  the  settlement  of  the 
questions  rising  out  of  the  papal  schism. 

Jean  Charlier  Gerson,  born  Dec.  14,  1363,  in  the  village 
of  Gerson,  in  the  diocese  of  Rheims,  was  the  oldest  of  twelve 
children.  In  a  letter  to  him  still  extant,8  his  mother,  a  godly 
woman,  pours  out  her  heart  in  the  prayer  that  her  children 
may  live  in  unity  with  each  other  and  with  God.  Two  of 
John's  brothers  became  ecclesiastics.  In  1377  Gerson  went 

1  Tschackert  gives  an  estimate  of  D'Ailly's  writings,  pp.  303-335. 

*  See  Fiske,  Discovery  of  America,  I.  872.  «  Schwab,  p.  61. 


208  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

to  Paris,  entering  the  College  of  Navarre.  This  college  was 
founded  by  Johanna,  queen  of  Navarre,  1304,  who  provided 
for  3  departments,  the  arts  with  20  students,  philosophy  with 
30  and  theology  with  20  students.  Provision  was  made  also 
for  their  support,  4  Paris  sous  weekly  for  the  artists,  6  for  the 
logicians  and  8  for  the  theologians.  These  allowances  were 
to  continue  until  the  graduates  held  benefices  of  the  value 
respectively  of  30,  40  and  60  pounds.  The  regulations  al- 
lowed the  theological  students  a  fire,  daily,  from  November  to 
March  after  dinner  and  supper  for  one  half-hour.  The  luxury 
of  benches  was  forbidden  by  a  commission  appointed  by  Ur- 
ban V.  in  1366.  On  the  festival  days,  the  theologians  were 
expected  to  deliver  a  collation  to  their  fellow-students  of  the 
three  classes.  The  rector  at  the  head  of  the  college,  origi- 
nally appointed  by  the  faculty  of  the  university,  was  now  ap- 
pointed by  the  king's  confessor.  The  students  wore  a  special 
dress  and  the  tonsure,  spoke  Latin  amongst  themselves  and 
ate  in  common. 

Gerson,  perhaps  the  most  distinguished  name  the  Univer- 
sity of  Paris  has  on  its  list  of  students,  was  a  faithful  and  en- 
thusiastic son  of  his  alma  mater,  calling  her  "  his  mother," 
"  the  mother  of  the  light  of  the  holy  Church,"  "  the  nurse  of 
all  that  is  wise  and  good  in  Christendom,"  "  a  prototype 
of  the  heavenly  Jerusalem,"  "the  fountain  of  knowledge, 
the  lamp  of  our  faith,  the  beauty  and  ornament  of  France, 
yea,  of  the  whole  world." l 

In  1382,  at  the  age  of  nineteen,  he  passed  into  the  theo- 
logical department,  and  a  year  later  came  under  the  guidance 
of  D'Ailly,  the  newly  appointed  rector,  remaining  under  him 
for  seven  years.  Gerson  was  already  a  marked  man,  and  was 
chosen  in  1383  procurator  of  the  French  "nation,"  and  in 
1387  one  of  the  delegation  to  appear  before  Clement  VII.  and 
argue  the  case  against  John  of  Montson.  This  Dominican, 
who  had  been  condemned  for  denying  the  immaculate  con- 
ception of  Mary,  refused  to  recant  on  the  plea  that  in  being 
condemned  Thomas  Aquinas  was  condemned,  and  he  appealed 
to  the  pope,  The  University  of  Paris  took  up  the  case,  and 

i  Schwab,  p.  6&. 


§  23.      JOHN  GEKSON.  209 

D'Ailly  in  two  addresses  before  the  papal  consistory  took  the 
ground  that  Thomas,  though  a  saint,  was  not  infallible.  The 
case  went  against  De  Montson ;  and  the  Dominicans,  who  re- 
fused to  bow  to  the  decision,  left  the  university  and  did  not 
return  till  1403. 

Gerson  advocated  Mary's  exemption  from  original  as  well 
as  actual  sin,  and  made  a  distinction  between  her  and  Christ, 
Christ  being  exempt  by  nature,  and  Mary — domino,  nostra  — 
by  an  act  of  divine  grace.  This  doctrine,  he  said,  cannot  be 
immediately  derived  from  the  Scriptures,1  but,  as  the  Apostles 
knew  more  than  the  prophets,  so  the  Church  teachers  know 
some  things  the  Apostles  did  not  know. 

At  D'Ailly's  promotion  to  the  episcopate,  1395,  his  pupil  fell 
heir  to  both  his  offices,  the  offices  of  professor  of  theology 
and  chancellor  of  the  university.  In  the  discussion  over  the 
healing  of  the  schism  in  which  the  university  took  the  lead- 
ing part,  he  occupied  a  place  of  first  prominence,  and  by  tracts, 
sermons  and  public  memorials  directed  the  opinion  of  the 
Church  in  this  pressing  matter.  The  premise  from  which  lie 
started  out  was  that  the  peace  of  the  Church  is  an  essential 
condition  to  the  fulfilment  of  its  mission.  This  view  he  set 
forth  in  a  famous  sermon,  preached  in  1404  at  Tarascon  be- 
fore Benedict  XIII.  and  the  duke  of  Orleans.  Princes  and 
prelates,  he  declared,  both  owe  obedience  to  law.  The  end 
for  which  the  Church  was  constituted  is  the  peace  and  well- 
being  of  men.  All  Church  authority  is  established  to  sub- 
serve the  interests  of  peace.  Peace  is  so  great  a  boon  that 
all  should  be  ready  to  renounce  dignities  and  position  for  it. 
Did  not  Christ  suffer  shame  ?  Better  for  a  while  to  be  with- 
out a  pope  than  that  the  Church  should  observe  the  canons 
and  not  have  peace,  for  there  can  be  salvation  where  there 
is  no  pope.2  A  general  council  should  be  convened,  and  it 
was  pious  to  believe  that  in  the  treatment  of  the  schism  it 

1  In  scriptura  sacra  neque  continetur  explicite  neque  in  contentis  eadem 
educitnr  evidenter,  Du  Pin's  ed.  III.  1350.    For  sermons  on  the  concep- 
tion, nativity  and  annunciation  of  the  Virgin,  vol.  III.  1317-1377.    Also  III. 
041,  and  Du  Pin's  Gfersoniana,  I.  cviii.  sq. 

2  Potest  absque  papa  mortali  stare  salus,  Du  Pin,  II.  72.     The  Tarascon 
sermon  is  given  by  Du  Pin,  II.  64-72.    Schwab's  analysis,  pp.  171-178. 

p 


210  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

would  not  err — pium  est  credere  non  erraret.  As  Schwab 
has  said,  no  one  had  ever  preached  in  the  same  way  to  a  pope 
before.  The  sermon  caused  a  sensation. 

Gerson,  though  not  present  at  the  council  of  Pisa,  contrib- 
uted to  its  discussions  by  his  important  tracts  on  the  Unity 
of  the  Church  —  De  unitate  ecclesiastica  —  and  theilemoval  of 
a  Pope — De  auferbilitate  papce  ab  ecclesia.  The  views  set  forth 
were  that  Christ  is  the  head  of  the  Church,  and  its  monarchi- 
cal constitution  is  unchangeable.  There  must  be  one  pope, 
not  several,  and  the  bishops  are  not  equal  in  authority  with 
him.  As  the  pope  may  separate  himself  from  the  Church, 
so  the  Church  may  separate  itself  from  the  pope.  Such  ac- 
tion might  be  required  by  considerations  of  self-defence.  The 
papal  office  is  of  God,  and  yet  the  pope  may  be  deposed  even 
by  a  council  called  without  his  consent.  All  Church  offices 
and  officials  exist  for  the  good  of  the  Church,  that  is,  for  the 
sake  of  peace  which  comes  through  the  exercise  of  love.  If 
a  pope  has  a  right  to  defend  himself  against,  say,  the  charge 
of  unchastity,  why  should  not  the  Church  have  a  like  right 
to  defend  itself?  A  council  acts  under  the  immediate  author- 
ity of  Christ  and  His  laws.  The  council  may  pronounce 
against  a  pope  by  virtue  of  the  power  of  the  keys  which  is 
given  not  only  to  one  but  to  the  body — unitati.  Aristotle  de- 
clared that  the  body  has  the  right,  if  necessary,  to  depose  its 
prince.  So  may  the  council,  and  whoso  rejects  a  council  of 
the  Church  rejects  God  who  directs  its  action.  A  pope  may 
be  deposed  for  heresy  and  schism,  as,  for  example,  if  he  did  not 
bend  the  knee  before  the  sacrament,  and  he  might  be  deposed 
when  no  personal  guilt  was  chargeable  against  him,  as  in  the 
case  already  referred  to,  when  he  was  a  captive  of  the  Sara- 
cens and  was  reported  dead. 

At  the  Council  of  Constance,  where  Gerson  spoke  as  the 
delegate  of  the  French  king,  he  advocated  these  positions 
again  and  again  with  his  voice,  as  in  his  address  March  23, 
1415,  and  in  a  second  address  July  21,  when  he  defended  the 
decree  which  the  synod  had  passed  at  its  fifth  session.  He 
reasserted  that  the  pope  may  be  forced  to  abdicate,  that  gen- 
eral councils  are  above  the  popes  and  that  infallibility  only 


§  23.      JOHN  GERSON.  211 

belongs  to  the  Church  as  a  body  or  its  highest  representative, 
a  general  council.1 

A  blot  rests  upon  Gerson's  name  for  the  active  part  he  took 
in  the  condemnation  of  John  Huss.  He  was  not  aboye  his 
age,  and  using  the  language  of  Innocent  III.  called  heresy  a 
cancer.3  He  declares  that  he  was  as  zealous  in  the  proceedings 
against  Huss  and  Wyclif  as  any  one  could  be.8  He  pro- 
nounced the  nineteen  errors  drawn  from  Huss'  work  on  the 
Church  "  notoriously  heretical."  Heresy,  he  declared,  if  it  is 
obstinate,  must  be  destroyed  even  by  the  deatli  of  its  profess- 
ors.4 He  denied  Huss'  fundamental  position  that  nothing 
is  to  be  accepted  as  divine  truth  which  is  not  found  in  Scrip- 
ture. Gerson  also  condemned  the  appeal  to  conscience,  ex- 
plicitly assuming  the  old  position  of  Church  authority  and 
canon  law  as  final.  The  opinions  of  an  individual,  however 
learned  he  may  be  in  the  Scriptures,  have  no  weight  before 
the  judgment  of  a  council.6 

In  the  controversy  over  the  withdrawal  of  the  cup  from 
the  laity,  involved  in  the  Bohemian  heresy,  Gerson  also  took 
an  extreme  position,  defending  it  by  arguments  which  seem 
to  us  altogether  unworthy  of  a  genuine  theology.  In  a  tract 
on  the  subject  he  declared  that,  though  some  passages  of 
Scripture  and  of  the  Fathers  favored  the  distribution  of  both 
wine  and  bread,  they  do  not  contain  a  definite  command,  and 
in  the  cases  where  an  explicit  command  is  given  it  must  be 
understood  as  applying  to  the  priests  who  are  obliged  to  com- 
mune under  both  kinds  so  as  to  fully  represent  Christ's  suf- 
ferings and  death.  But  this  is  not  required  of  the  laity  who 
commune  for  the  sake  of  the  effect  of  Christ's  death  and  not 
to  set  it  forth.  Christ  commanded  only  the  Apostles  to  par- 
take of  both  kinds.6  The  custom  of  lay  communion  was  never 
universal,  as  is  proved  by  Acts  2 : 42,  46.  The  essence  of 

1  See  Schwab,  pp.  520  sqq.,  668. 

a  In  a  sermon  before  the  Council  of  Constance,  Du  Pin,  II.  207. 
8  Dialog,  apologet.,  Du  Pin,  II.  387. 

4  Adpunitionem  et  exterminationem  errantium,  Du  Pin,  II.  277. 
*  See  Schwab,  pp.  699,  601. 

6  Contra  heresin  de  communion*  laicorum  sub  utraque  specie,  Du  Pin, 
I.  457-468.  See  Schwab,  p.  604  sqq. 


212  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  sacrament  of  the  body  and  blood  is  more  important  than 
the  elements,  John  6  :  54.  But  the  whole  Christ  is  in  either 
element,  and,  if  some  of  the  doctors  take  a  different  view,  the 
Church's  doctrine  is  to  be  followed,  and  not  they.  From  time 
immemorial  the  Church  has  given  the  communion  only  in  one 
form.  The  Council  of  Constance  was  right  in  deciding  that 
only  a  single  element  is  necessary  to  a  saving  participation 
in  the  sacrament.  The  Church  may  make  changes  in  the 
outward  observance  when  the  change  does  not  touch  the  es- 
sence of  the  right  in  question.  The  use  of  the  two  elements, 
once  profitable,  is  now  unprofitable  and  heretical. 

To  these  statements  Gerson  added  practical  considerations 
against  the  distribution  of  the  cup  to  laymen,  such  as  the  dan- 
ger of  spilling  the  wine,  of  soiling  the  vessels  from  the  long 
beards  of  laymen,  of  having  the  wine  turn  to  vinegar,  if  it  be 
preserved  for  the  sick  and  so  it  cease  to  be  the  blood  of  Christ 
—  et  ita  desineret  esse  sanguis  Christi  —  and  from  the  impos- 
sibility of  consecrating  in  one  vessel  enough  for  10,000  to 
20,000  communicants,  as  at  Easter  time  may  be  necessary. 
Another  danger  was  the  encouragement  such  a  practice  would 
give  to  the  notions  that  priest  and  layman  are  equal,  and  that 
the  chief  value  of  the  sacrament  lies  in  the  participation  and 
not  in  the  consecration  of  the  elements.1  Such  are  some  of 
the  "  scandals  "  which  this  renowned  teacher  ascribed  to  the 
distribution  of  the  cup  to  the  laity. 

A  subject  on  which  Gerson  devoted  a  great  deal  of  energy 
for  many  years  was  whether  the  murder  of  tyrants  or  of  a 
traitorous  vassal  is  justifiable  or  not.  He  advocated  the 
negative  side  of  the  case,  which  he  failed  to  win  before  the 
Council  of  Constance.  The  question  grew  out  of  the  treat- 
ment of  the  half -insane  French  king,  Charles  VI.  (1380-1422), 
and  the  attempt  of  different  factions  to  get  control  of  the 
government. 

On  Nov.  23,  1407,  the  king's  cousin,  Louis,  duke  of  Orleans, 
was  murdered  at  the  command  of  the  king's  uncle,  John, 
duke  of  Burgundy.  The  duke's  act  was  defended  by  the 

1  Quod  virtus  hujus  sacramenti  non  e*t  principalius  in  consecratione  quam 
in  sumptione,  Du  Pin,  L  467. 


§  23.      JOHN   GEE80N.  213 

Franciscan  and  Paris  professor,  John  Petit,  —  Johannes  Par- 
vus,  —  in  an  address  delivered  before  the  king  March  8, 1408. 
Gerson,  who  at  an  earlier  time  seems  to  have  advocated  the 
murder  of  tyrants,  answered  Petit  in  a  public  address,  and 
called  upon  the  king  to  suppress  Pe tit's  nine  propositions.1 
The  University  of  Paris  made  Gerson's  cause  its  own.  Petit 
died  in  1411,  but  the  controversy  went  on.  Petit's  theory 
was  this,  that  every  vassal  plotting  against  his  lord  is  deserv- 
ing of  death  in  soul  and  body.  He  is  a  tyrant,  and  accord- 
ing to  the  laws  of  nature  and  God  any  one  has  the  right  to 
put  him  out  of  the  way.  The  higher  such  a  person  is  in  rank, 
the  more  meritorious  is  the  deed.  He  based  his  argument 
upon  Thomas  Aquinas,  John  of  Salisbury,  Aristotle,  Cicero 
and  other  writers,  and  referred  to  Moses,  Zambri  and  St. 
Michael  who  cast  Lucifer  out  of  heaven,  and  other  examples. 
The  duke  of  Orleans  was  guilty  of  treason  against  the  king, 
and  the  duke  of  Burgundy  was  justified  in  killing  him. 

The  bishop  of  Paris,  supported  by  a  commission  of  the  In- 
quisition and  at  the  king's  direction,  condemned  Petit  and  his 
views.  In  February,  1414,  Gerson  made  a  public  address  de- 
fending the  condemnation,  and  two  days  later  articles  taken 
from  Petit's  work  were  burnt  in  front  of  Notre  Dame.  The 
king  ratified  the  bishop's  judgment,  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy 
appealed  the  case  to  Rome.2 

The  case  was  now  transferred  to  the  council,  which  at  its 
fifteenth  session,  July  6,  1415,  passed  a  compromise  measure 
condemning  the  doctrine  that  a  tyrant,  in  the  absence  of  a 
judicial  sentence,  may  and  ought  to  be  put  to  death  by  any 
subject  whatever,  even  by  the  use  of  treacherous  means,  and 
in  the  face  of  an  oath  without  committing  perjury.  Petit  was 
not  mentioned  by  name.  It  was  this  negative  and  timid  ac- 
tion, which  led  Gerson  to  say  that  if  Huss  had  had  a  defender, 
lie  would  not  have  been  found  guilty.  It  was  rumored  that 

1  Vol.  V.  of  Gerson's  works  is  taken  up  with  documents  bearing  on  this 
subject  Gerson's  addresses,  bearing  upon  it  at  Constance,  are  given  in  vol.  II. 
See  Schwab,  p.  609  sqq.,  and  Bess,  Zur  Geschichte,  etc.  The  Chartulariwm, 
IV.  261-286,  326  sqq.,  gives  the  nine  propositions  in  French,  with  Gerson's 
reply,  and  other  matter  pertaining  to  the  controversy.  2  Schwab,  p.  620. 


214  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  commission  which  was  appointed  to  bring  in  a  report,  by 
sixty-one  out  of  eighty  votes,  decided  for  the  permissibility 
of  Petit's  articles  declaring  that  Peter  meant  to  kill  the  high 
priest's  servant,  and  that,  if  he  had  known  Judas'  thoughts 
at  the  Last  Supper,  he  would  have  been  justified  in  killing 
him.  The  duke  of  Burgundy's  gold  is  said  to  have  been 
freely  used.1  The  party  led  by  the  bishop  of  Arras  argued 
that  the  tyrant  who  takes  the  sword  is  to  be  punished  with  the 
sword.  Gerson,  who  was  supported  by  D'Ailly  replied  that 
then  the  command  "  thou  shalt  not  kill "  would  only  forbid  such 
an  act  as  murder,  if  there  was  coupled  with  it  an  inspired  gloss, 
"without  judicial  authority."  The  command  means,  "thou 
shalt  not  kill  the  innocent,  or  kill  out  of  revenge."  Gerson 
pressed  the  matter  for  the  last  time  in  an  address  delivered  be- 
fore the  council,  Jan.  17,  1417,  but  the  council  refused  to  go 
beyond  the  decree  of  the  fifteenth  session. 

The  duke  of  Burgundy  got  possession  of  Paris  in  1418,  and 
Gerson  found  the  doors  of  France  closed  to  him.  Under  the 
protection  of  the  duke  of  Bavaria  he  found  refuge  at  Ratten- 
berg  and  later  in  Austria.  On  the  assassination  of  the  duke 
of  Burgundy  himself,  with  the  connivance  of  the  dauphin, 
Sept.  10, 1419,  he  returned  to  France,  but  not  to  Paris.  He 
went  to  Lyons,  where  his  brother  John  was,  and  spent  his  last 
years  there  in  monastic  seclusion.  The  dauphin  is  said  to  have 
granted  him  200  livres  in  1420  in  recognition  of  his  services  to 
the  crown. 

It  remains  to  speak  of  Gerson  as  a  theologian,  a  preacher 
and  a  patriot. 

In  the  department  of  theology  proper  Gerson  has  a  place 
among  the  mystics.2  Mysticism  he  defines  as  "  the  art  of  love," 
the  "  perception  of  God  through  experience. "  Such  experience 
is  reached  by  humility  and  penance  more  than  through  the  path 
of  speculation.  The  contemplative  life  is  most  desirable,  but, 

1Mansi,  XXVII.  765,  Quilibet  tyrannus  potest  et  debet  licite  et  meritortc 
occidi  per  quemcumque  .  .  .  non  expectata  sententta  vel  mandate  judicis 
cuiuseumque.  For  D'Ailly 's  part,  see  Tschackert,  pp.  235-247. 

2  Gerson's  mysticism  is  presented  in  such  tracts  as  De  vita  spirituali  anima 
and  De  monte  contemplations,  Da  Pin,  III.  1-77,  541-579. 


§  23.      JOHN  GERSON.  215 

following  Christ's  example,  contemplation  must  be  combined 
with  action.  The  contemplation  of  God  consists  of  knowledge 
as  taught  in  John  17 :  3,  "  This  is  life  eternal,  to  know  Thee 
and  Jesus  Christ  whom  Thou  hast  sent."  Such  knowledge  is 
mingled  with  love.  The  soul  is  one  with  God  through  love. 
His  mysticism  was  based,  on  the  one  hand,  on  the  study  of  the 
Scriptures  and,  on  the  other,  on  the  study  of  Bonaventura  and 
the  St.  Victors.  He  wrote  a  special  treatise  in  praise  of  Bona- 
ventura and  his  mystical  writings.  Far  from  having  any  con- 
scious affinity  with  the  German  mystics,  he  wrote  against  John 
of  Ruysbroeck  and  Ruysbroeck's  pupil,  John  of  Schdnhofen, 
charging  them  with  pantheism. 

While  Gerson  emphasized  the  religious  feelings,  he  was  far 
from  being  a  religious  visionary  and  wrote  treatises  against  the 
dangers  of  delusion  from  dreams  and  revelations.  As  coins 
must  be  tested  by  their  weight,  hardness,  color,  shape  and 
stamp,  so  visions  are  to  be  tested  by  the  humility  and  honesty 
of  those  who  profess  to  have  them  and  their  readiness  to  teach 
and  be  taught.  He  commended  the  monk  who,  when  some  one 
offered  to  show  him  a  figure  like  Christ,  replied,  "  I  do  not  want 
to  see  Christ  on  the  earth.  I  am  contented  to  wait  till  I  see 
him  in  heaven." 

When  the  negotiations  were  going  on  at  the  Council  of  Con- 
stance for  the  confirmation  of  the  canonization  of  St.  Brigitta, 
Gerson  laid  down  the  principle  that,  if  visions  reveal  what  is 
already  in  the  Scriptures,1  then  they  are  false,  for  God  does 
not  repeat  Himself,  Job  33  :  14.  People  have  itching  ears  for 
revelations  because  they  do  not  study  the  Bible.  Later  he 
warned2  against  the  revelations  of  women,  as  women  are  more 
open  to  deception  than  men. 

The  Scriptures,  Gerson  taught,  are  the  Church's  rule  and 
guide  to  the  end  of  the  world.  If  a  single  statement  should 
be  proved  false,  then  the  whole  volume  is  false,  for  the  Holy 
Spirit  is  author  of  the  whole.  The  letter  of  the  text,  however, 
is  not  sufficient  to  determine  their  meaning,  as  is  proved  from 

1  In  his  De  probations  spirituum,  Du  Pin,  I.  37-43;  and  De  distinctions 
verarum  visionum  a  falsis,  Du  Pin,  I.  43-69. 

8  De  examinations  doctrinarum,  Du  Pin,  I.  7-22. 


216  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

the  translations  of  the  Waldenses,  Beghards  and  other  sec- 
taries.1 The  text  needs  the  authority  of  the  Church,  as  Augus- 
tine indicated  when  he  said,  "  I  would  not  believe  the  Gospel 
if  the  authority  of  the  Church  did  not  compel  me." 

Great  as  Gerson's  services  were  in  other  departments,  it  was, 
to  follow  his  sympathetic  and  scholarly  biographer,  Schwab, 
from  the  pulpit  that  he  exercised  most  influence  on  his  gener- 
ation.2 He  preached  in  French  as  well  as  Latin,  and  his  ser- 
mons had,  for  the  most  part,  a  practical  intent,  being  occupied 
with  ethical  themes  such  as  pride,  idleness,  anger,  the  command- 
ments of  the  Decalogue,  the  marital  state.  He  held  that  the 
ordinary  priest  should  confine  himself  to  a  simple  explanation 
of  the  Decalogue,  the  greater  sins  and  the  articles  of  faith. 

During  the  last  ten  years  of  his  life,  spent  in  seclusion  at 
Lyons,  he  continued  his  literary  activity,  writing  more  partic- 
ularly in  the  vein  of  mystical  theology.  His  last  work  was 
on  the  Canticles. 

The  tradition  runs  that  the  great  teacher  in  his  last  years 
conducted  a  catechetical  school  for  children  in  St.  Paul's  at 
Lyons,  and  that  he  taught  them  to  offer  for  himself  the  daily 
prayer,  "  God,  my  creator,  have  pity  upon  Thy  poor  servant, 
Jean  Gerson  "  —  Mon  Dieu^  mon  Createur,  ayez  pitit  de  vostre 
pauvre  serviteur,  Jean  Gerson.3  It  was  for  young  boys  and  per- 
haps for  boys  spending  their  first  years  in  the  university  that 
he  wrote  his  tractate  entitled  Leading  Children  to  Christ.4  It 
opens  with  an  exposition  of  the  words,  "  Suffer  little  children 
to  come  unto  me  "  and  proceeds  to  show  how  much  more  seemly 
it  is  to  offer  to  God  our  best  in  youth  than  the  dregs  of  sickly 

1  Si  propositio  aliqua  s.  scripturce  posita  assertive  per  auctorem  suum, 
qui  est  Sp.  sanctus,  esset  falsa,  tota  8.  scripturce  vacillaret  auctoritas,  quoted 
by  Schwab,  p.  314. 

2  Gerson  hatte  seine  einflussreiche  Stellung  vorzuyxweise  dem  Eufe  zu 
danken  den  er  als  Prediger  genoss,  Schwab,  p.  376. 

8  See  Schwab,  p.  773,  who  neither  accepts  nor  rejects  the  tradition.  Dr. 
Philip  Schaff  used  to  bring  the  last  literary  activity  of  President  Theodore  D. 
Wolsey,  of  Yale  College,  into  comparison  with  the  activity  of  Gerson.  In  his 
last  years  Dr.  Wolsey  wrote  the  expositions  of  the  Sunday  school  lessons  for 
the  Sunday  School  Times. 

*  De  parvulis  ad  Christum  trahendis,  written  according  to  Schwab,  1409- 
1412,  Du  Pin,  HI.  278-291. 


§  23,      JOHN  GERSOIT.  217 

old  age.  The  author  takes  up  the  sins  children  should  be  ad- 
monished to  avoid,  especially  unchastity,  and  holds  up  to  repro- 
bation the  principle  that  vice  is  venial  if  it  is  kept  secret,  the 
principle  expressed  in  the  words  si  non  caste  tamen  caute. 

In  a  threefold  work,  giving  a  brief  exposition  of  the  Ten 
Commandments,  a  statement  of  the  seven  mortal  sins  and  some 
short  meditations  on  death  and  the  way  to  meet  it,  Gerson 
gives  a  sort  of  catechism,  although  it  is  not  thrown  into  the 
form  of  questions  and  answers.  As  the  author  states,  it  was 
intended  for  the  benefit  of  poorly  instructed  curates  who  heard 
confessions,  for  parents  who  had  children  to  instruct,  for  per- 
sons not  interested  in  the  public  services  of  worship  and  for 
those  who  had  the  care  of  the  sick  in  hospitals.1 

The  title,  most  Christian  doctor  —  doctor  chriatianissimua  — 
given  to  John  Gerson  is  intended  to  emphasize  the  evangeli- 
cal temper  of  his  teaching.  To  a  clear  intellect,  he  added  warm 
religious  fervor.  With  a  love  for  the  Church,  which  it  would 
be  hard  to  find  excelled,  he  magnified  the  body  of  Christian 
people  as  possessing  the  mind  and  immediate  guidance  of  Christ 
and  threw  himself  into  the  advocacy  of  the  principle  that  the 
judgment  of  Christendom,  as  expressed  in  a  general  council, 
is  the  final  authority  of  religious  matters  on  the  earth. 

He  opposed  some  of  the  superstitions  inherited  from  another 
time.  He  emphasized  the  authority  of  the  sacred  text.  In 
these  views  as  in  others  he  was  in  sympathy  with  the  progress- 
ive spirit  of  his  age.  But  he  stopped  short  of  the  principles  of 
the  Reformers.  He  knew  nothing  of  the  principles  of  individ- 
ual sovereignty  and  the  rights  of  conscience.  His  thinking 
moved  along  churchly  lines.  He  had  none  of  the  bold  original 
thought  of  Wyclif  and  little  of  that  spirit  which  sets  itself 
against  the  current  errors  of  the  times  in  which  we  live.  His 
vote  for  Huss'  burning  proves  sufficiently  that  the  light  of 
the  new  age  had  not  dawned  upon  his  mind.  He  was  not, 
like  them,  a  forerunner  of  the  movement  of  the  sixteenth 
century. 

1  Opusculum  tripartitum:  depreceptis  decalogi,  de  confessione,  et  de  arte 
moriendi,  Du  Pin,  I.,  426-450.  Bess,  in  Herzog,  VI.  615,  calls  it  "  the  first 
catechism/' 


218  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

The  chief  principle  for  which  Gerson  contended,  the  suprem- 
acy of  general  councils,  met  with  defeat  soon  after  the  great 
chancellor's  death,  and  was  set  aside  by  popes  and  later  by  the 
judgment  of  a  general  council.  His  writings,  however,  which 
were  frequently  published  remain  the  chief  literary  monuments 
in  the  department  of  theology  of  the  first  half  of  the  fourteenth 
century.1  Separated  from  the  Schoolmen  in  spirit  and  method, 
he  stands  almost  in  a  class  by  himself,  the  most  eminent  theolo- 
gian of  his  century.  This  judgment  is  an  extension  of  the 
judgment  of  the  eminent  German  abbot  and  writer,  Tritheraius, 
at  the  close  of  the  fifteenth  century:  "  He  was  by  far  the  chief 
divine  of  his  age  "  2 —  Theologorum  sui  temporis  longe  princeps. 

§  24.     Nicolas  of  Clamanges^  the  Moralist. 

The  third  of  the  great  luminaries  who  gave  fame  to  the 
University  of  Paris  in  this  period,  Nicolas  Poillevillain  de 
Clamanges,  was  born  at  Clamengis,8  Champagne,  about  1367 
and  died  in  Paris  about  1437.  Shy  by  nature,  he  took  a  less 
prominent  part  in  the  settlement  of  the  great  questions  of 
the  age  than  his  contemporaries,  D'Ailly  and  Gerson.  Like 
them,  he  was  identified  with  the  discussions  called  forth  by 
the  schism,  and  is  distinguished  for  the  high  value  he  put  on 
the  study  of  the  Scriptures  and  his  sharp  exposition  of  the 
corruption  of  the  clergy.  He  entered  the  College  of  Navarre 
at  twelve,  and  had  D'Ailly  and  Gerson  for  his  teachers.  In 
theology  he  did  not  go  beyond  the  baccalaureate.  It  is  prob- 
able he  was  chosen  rector  of  the  university  1393.  With 
Peter  of  Monsterolio,  he  was  the  chief  classical  scholar  of 
the  university  and  was  able  to  write  that  in  Paris,  Virgil, 
Terence  and  Cicero  were  often  read  in  public  and  in  private.4 

In  1394,  Clamanges  took  a  prominent  part  in  preparing  the 

1  The  first  complete  edition  of  Gerson9 s  writings  appeared  from  the  press  of 
John  Koelhoff.  4  vols.  Cologne,  1483, 1484.  The  celebrated  preacher,  Geiler 
of  Strassburg,  edited  a  second  edition  1488.  2  Schwab,  p.  779,  note. 

8  The  spelling  given  by  Denifie  in  the  Chartularium. 

4  Chartul.  III.  pp.  6,  zi.  In  the  Chartularium  Clamanges  always  appears 
as  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  the  arts,  III.  606,  etc. 


§  24.      NICOLAS  OF  CLAMANGES,  THE  MORALIST.       219 

paper,  setting  forth  the  conclusions  of  the  university  in  regard 
to  the  healing  of  the  schism.1  It  was  addressed  to  the  "  most 
Christian  king,  Charles  VI.,  most  zealous  of  religious  orthodoxy 
by  his  daughter,  the  university. "  This,  the  famous  document 
suggesting  the  three  ways  of  healing  the  schism, — by  abdica- 
tion, arbitration  and  by  a  general  council,  —  is  characterized 
by  firmness  and  moderation,  two  of  the  elements  prominent  in 
Clamanges'  character.  It  pronounced  the  schism  pestiferous, 
and  in  answer  to  the  question  who  would  give  the  council  its 
authority,  it  answered :  "  The  communion  of  all  the  faithful 
will  give  it;  Christ  will  give  it,  who  said:  4  Where  two  or  three 
are  gathered  together  in  my  name  there  am  I  in  the  midst  of 
them.'" 

The  Paris  professor  was  one  of  the  men  whom  the  keen- 
eyed  Peter  de  Luna  picked  out,  and  when  he  was  elected  pope, 
Clamanges  supported  him  and  wrote  appealing  to  him,  as  the 
one  who  no  longer  occupied  the  position  of  one  boatman  among 
others,  but  stood  at  the  rudder  of  the  ship,  to  act  in  the  interest 
of  all  Christendom.  He  was  called  as  secretary  to  the  Avi- 
gnon court,  but  became  weary  of  the  commotion  and  the  vices 
of  the  palace  and  the  town.2  In  1406,  he  seems  to  have  with- 
drawn from  Benedict  at  Genoa  and  retired  to  Langres,  where 
he  held  a  canon's  stall.  He  did  not,  however,  break  with  the 
pope,  and,  when  Benedict  in  1408  issued  the  bull  threaten- 
ing the  French  court  with  excommunication,  Clamanges  was 
charged  with  being  its  author.  He  denied  the  charge,  but  the 
accusation  of  want  of  patriotism  had  made  a  strong  impression, 
and  he  withdrew  to  the  Carthusian  convent,  Valprofonds,  and 
later  to  Fontaine  du  Bosc.  His  seclusion  he  employed  in  writ- 
ing letters  and  treatises  and  in  the  study  of  the  Bible  which  he 
now  expressed  regret  for  having  neglected  in  former  years  for 
classical  studies. 

To  D' Ailly  he  wrote  on  the  advantages  of  a  secluded  life.  — 
Defructu  eremi.  In  another  tract  — Defructu  rerum  adver- 
sarum  —  he  presented  the  advantages  of  adversity.  One  of 

1  Chartul.,  III.  617-624. 

3  Tcedebat  me  vehementer  curte,  tcedebat  turb&,  tadebat  tumultua,  tcedebat 
ambitionia  et  morwn  in  plerisque  vitiosorum,  he  wrote.  Quoted  by  Knopfler. 


220  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

more  importance  complained  of  the  abuse  of  the  Lord's  Day 
and  of  the  multiplication  of  festivals  as  taking  the  workman 
from  his  work  while  the  interests  of  piety  were  not  advanced. 
In  still  another  tract  —  De  studio  theologico  —  addressed  to  a 
theologian  at  Paris  who  had  inquired  whether  it  was  better 
for  him  to  continue  where  he  was  or  to  retire  to  a  pastorate, 
he  emphasized  the  importance  and  delicacy  of  caring  for  souls, 
but  advised  the  inquirer  to  remain  at  the  university  and  to  con- 
cern himself  chiefly  with  the  study  of  the  Scriptures.  He 
ascribed  the  Church's  decline  to  their  neglect,  and  pronounced 
the  mass,  processionals  and  festivals  as  of  no  account  unless 
the  heart  be  purified  by  faith. 

During  the  sessions  of  the  Council  of  Constance,  which  he 
did  not  attend,  Clamanges  sent  a  letter  to  that  body  urging 
unity  of  thought  and  action.  He  expressed  doubt  whether 
general  councils  were  always  led  by  the  Holy  Spirit.  The 
Church,  which  he  defined  as  infallible,  is  only  there  where  the 
Holy  Spirit  is,  and  where  the  Church  is,  can  be  only  known 
to  God  Himself.  In  1425  he  returned  to  Paris  and  lectured 
on  rhetoric  and  theology. 

Clamanges'  reputation  rests  chiefly  upon  his  sharp  criticism 
of  the  corrupt  morals  of  the  clergy.  His  residence  in  Avignon 
gave  him  a  good  opportunity  for  observation.  His  tract  on 
the  prelates  who  were  practising  simony — De  prcesulibus  simo- 
niacis  —  is  a  commentary  on  the  words,  "  But  ye  have  made  it 
a  den  of  thieves,"  Matt.  21 :  13.  A  second  tract  on  the  down- 
fall of  the  Church  —  De  ruina  ecclesice  —  is  one  of  the  most 
noted  writings  of  the  age.  Here  are  set  forth  the  simony  and 
private  vices  practised  at  Avignon  where  all  things  holy  were 
prostituted  for  gold  and  luxury.  Here  is  described  the  cor- 
ruption of  the  clergy  from  the  pope  down  to  the  lowest  class 
of  priests.  The  author  found  ideal  conditions  in  the  first  cen- 
tury, when  the  minds  of  the  clergy  were  wholly  set  on  heavenly 
things.  With  possessions  and  power  came  avarice  and  ambi- 
tion, pride  and  luxury.  The  popes  themselves  were  guilty  of 
pride  in  exalting  their  authority  above  that  of  the  empire  and 
by  asserting  for  themselves  the  right  of  appointing  all  prelates, 
yea  of  filling  all  the  benefices  of  Christendom.  The  evils  aris- 


§  24.      NICOLAS  OF  CLAMANGES,   THE  MORALIST.       221 

ing  from  annates  and  expectances  surpass  the  power  of  state- 
ment. The  cardinals  followed  the  popes  in  their  greed  and 
pride,  single  cardinals  having  as  many  as  500  livings.  In  order 
to  perpetuate  their  "  tyranny,"  pope  and  curia  had  entered  into 
league  with  princes,  which  Clamanges  pronounces  an  abomina- 
ble fornication.  Many  of  the  bishops  drew  large  incomes  from 
their  sees  which  they  administered  through  others,  never  visit- 
ing them  themselves.  Canons  and  vicars  followed  the  same 
course  and  divided  their  time  between  idleness  and  sensual 
pleasure.  The  mendicant  monks  corresponded  to  the  Phari- 
sees of  the  synagogue.  Scarcely  one  cleric  out  of  a  thousand 
did  what  his  profession  demanded.  They  were  steeped  in 
ignorance  and  given  to  brawling,  drinking,  playing  with  dice 
and  fornication.  Priests  bought  the  privilege  of  keeping  con- 
cubines. As  for  the  nuns,  Clamanges  said,  he  dared  not  speak 
of  them.  Nunneries  were  not  the  sanctuaries  of  God,  but 
shameful  brothels  of  Venus,  resorts  of  unchaste  and  wanton 
youth  for  the  sating  of  their  passions,  and  for  a  girl  to  put  on 
the  veil  was  virtually  to  submit  herself  to  prostitution.1  The 
Church  was  drunken  with  the  lust  of  power,  glory  and  pleasures. 
Judgment  was  sure  to  come,  and  men  should  bow  humbly  be- 
fore God  who  alone  could  rectify  the  evils  and  put  an  end  to 
the  schism.  Descriptions  such  as  these  must  be  used  with  dis- 
crimination, and  it  would  be  wrong  to  deduce  from  them  that 
the  entire  clerical  body  was  corrupt.  The  diseases,  however, 
must  have  been  deep-seated  to  call  forth  such  a  lament  from  a 
man  of  Clamanges'  position. 

The  author  did  not  call  to  open  battle  like  the  German  Re- 
former at  a  later  time,  but  suggested  as  a  remedy  prayers,  pro- 
cessions and  fasts.  His  watchword  was  that  the  Church  must 
humble  itself  before  it  can  be  rebuilt.3  It  was,  however,  a 

1  Quid  aliud  sunt  hoc  tempore  puellarum  monasteria,  nisi  qucedam,  non 
dico  Dei  sanctuaria  sed  execranda  prostibula  Veneris .  .  .  ut  idem  hodie  sit 
puellam  velare  quod  adpublice  scortandum  exponere,  Hardt,  I.  38. 

8  Secies,  priits  humilianda  quam  erigenda.  The  authorship  of  the  De  ruina 
has  been  made  a  matter  of  dispute.  Muntz  denied  it  to  Clamanges  chiefly  on 
the  ground  of  its  poor  Latin  and  Knopfler  is  inclined  to  follow  him.  On  the 
other  hand  Schuberth  and  Schwab,  followed  somewhat  hesitatingly  by  Bess, 
accept  the  traditional  view.  Schwab  brings  out  the  similarity  between  the  De 


222  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

bold  utterance  and  forms  an  important  part  of  that  body  of 
literature  which  so  powerfully  moulded  opinion  at  the  time  of 
the  Reformatory  councils. 

The  loud  complaints  against  the  state  of  morals  at  the  papal 
court  and  beyond  during  the  Avignon  period  increased,  if  possi- 
ble, in  strength  during  the  time  of  the  schism.  The  list  of 
abuses  to  be  corrected  which  the  Council  of  Constance  issued, 
Oct.  30,  1417,  includes  the  official  offences  of  the  curia,  such 
as  reservations,  annates,  the  sale  of  indulgences  and  the  un- 
restricted right  of  appeals  to  the  papal  court.  The  subject  of 
chastity  it  remained  for  individual  writers  to  press.  In  de- 
scribing the  third  Babylon,  Petrarch  was  even  more  severe  than 
Clamanges  who  wrote  of  conditions  as  they  existed  nearly  a 
century  later  and  accused  the  papal  household  of  practising 
adultery,  rape  and  all  manners  of  fornication.1  Clamanges 
declared  that  many  parishes  insisted  upon  the  priests  keeping 
concubines  as  a  precaution  in  defence  of  their  own  families. 
Against  all  canonical  rules  John  XXIII.  gave  a  dispensation 
to  the  illegitimate  son  of  Henry  IV.  of  England,  who  was  only 
ten  years  old,  to  enter  orders.2  The  case  of  John  XXIII.  was 
an  extreme  one,  but  it  must  be  remembered,  that  in  Bologna 
where  he  was  sent  as  cardinal-legate,  his  biographer,  Dietrich 
of  Nieheim,  says  that  two  hundred  matrons  and  maidens,  in- 
cluding some  nuns,  fell  victims  to  the  future  pontiff's  amours. 
Dietrich  Vrie  in  his  History  of  the  Council  of  Constance  said: 
"  The  supreme  pontiffs,  as  I  know,  are  elected  through  avarice 
and  simony  and  likewise  the  other  bishops  are  ordained  for 

ruina  and  Clamanges1  other  writings  and  takes  the  view  that,  while  the  tract 
was  written  in  1401  or  1402,  it  was  not  punished  till  1400. 

1  Mitto  stuprum,  raptus,  incestus,  adulteria,  qui  jam  pontiflcalis  lasciviae 
ludi  sunt,  quoted  by  Lea.  Sacerd.  Celibacy,  1. 426.  Gillis  li  Muisis,  abbot  of 
St.  Martin  di  Tournai,  d.  1352,  in  the  Recollections  of  his  Life  written  a  year 
before  his  death,  speaks  of  good  wines,  a  good  table,  fine  attire  and  above  all 
holidays  as  in  his  day  the  chief  occupations  of  monks.  Cure's  and  chap- 
lains had  girls  and  women  as  valets,  a  troublesome  habit  over  which  there 
was  murmuring,  and  it  had  to  be  kept  quiet.  See  C.  V.  Langlois,  La  vie  en 
France  au  moyen  age  cTapres  quelques  moralities  du  temps,  Paris,  1008,  pp. 
320,  336,  etc. 

3  Jan.  15,  1412.  Under  the  name  of  E.  Leboorde.  For  the  document, 
see  English  Historical  Review,  1904,  p.  96  sq. 


§  25.      NICOLAS  OF  CUBA.  223 

gqjd.  The  old  proverb *  Freely  give,  for  freely  ye  have  received 
is  now  most  vilely  perverted  and  runs  *  Freely  I  have  not  re- 
ceived and  freely  I  will  not  give,  for  I  have  bought  my  bishopric 
with  a  great  price  and  must  indemnify  myself  impiously  for 
my  outlay.'  ...  If  Simon  Magus  were  now  alive  he  might 
buy  with  money  not  only  the  Holy  Ghost  but  God  the  Father 
and  Me,  God  the  Son." l  But  bad  as  was  the  moral  condition  of 
the  hierarchy  and  papacy  at  the.  time  of  the  schism,  it  was  not 
so  bad  as  during  the  last  half  century  of  the  Middle  Ages. 
The  Reformatory  councils  are  the  best,  though  by  no  means  the 
only,  proof  that  a  deep  moral  vitality  existed  in  the  Church. 
Their  very  summons  and  assembling  were  a  protest  against 
clerical  corruption  and  hypocrisy  "in  head  and  members,"  — 
from  the  pope  down  to  the  most  obscure  priest,  —  and  at  the 
same  time  a  most  hopeful  sign  of  future  betterment. 

§  25.     Nicolas  of  Cusa,  Scholar  and  Churchman. 

Of  the  theologians  of  the  generation  following  Gerson  and 
D'Ailly  none  occupies  a  more  conspicuous  place  than  the  Ger- 
man Nicolas  of  Cusa,  1401-1464.  After  taking  a  prominent 
part  in  the  Basel  council  in  its  earlier  history,  he  went  into 
the  service  of  Eugenius  IV.  and  distinguished  himself  by  prac- 
tical efforts  at  Church  reform  and  by  writings  in  theology  and 
other  departments  of  human  learning. 

Born  at  Cues  near  Treves,  the  son  of  a  boatman,  he  left  the 
parental  home  on  account  of  harsh  treatment.  Coming  under 
the  patronage  of  the  count  of  Manderscheid,  he  went  to  De- 
venter,  where  he  received  training  in  the  school  conducted  by 
the  Brothers  of  the  Common  Life.  He  studied  law  in  Padua, 
and  reached  the  doctorate,  but  exchanged  law  for  theology  be- 
cause, to  follow  the  statement  of  his  opponent,  George  of  Heim- 
burg,  he  had  failed  in  his  first  case.  At  Padua  he  had  for  one 
of  his  teachers  Cesarini,  afterwards  cardinal  and  a  prominent 
figure  in  the  Council  of  Basel. 

In  1432  he  appeared  in  Basel  as  the  representative  of  Ulrich  of 
Manderscheid,  archbishop-elect  of  Treves,  to  advocate  Ulrich's 

1  Hardt,  I.  104  sqq.    The  lament  is  put  into  the  mouth  of  Christ. 


224  THE  MIDDLE  AGES,      A.D.    1294-1517. 

cause  against  his  rival,  Rabanus  of  Helmstatt,  bishop  of  Spires, 
whom  the  pope  had  appointed  archbishop  of  the  Treves  diocese. 
Identifying  himself  closely  with  the  conciliar  body,  Nicolas 
had  a  leading  part  in  the  proceedings  with  the  Hussites  and 
went  with  the  majority  in  advocating  the  superiority  of  the 
council  over  the  pope.  His  work  on  Catholic  Unity,  —  De 
concordantia  catholica,  —  embodying  his  views  on  this  question 
and  dedicated  to  the  council  1433,  followed  the  earlier  treat- 
ments of  Langenstein,  Nieheim  and  Gerson.  A  general  coun- 
cil, being  inspired  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  speaks  truly  and  infallibly. 
The  Church  is  the  body  of  the  faithful  —  unitas  fidelium  —  and 
is  represented  in  a  general  council.  The  pope  derives  his  au- 
thority from  the  consent  of  the  Church,  a  council  has  power  to 
dethrone  him  for  heresy  and  other  causes  and  may  not  be 
prorogued  or  adjourned  without  its  own  consent.  Peter  re- 
ceived no  more  authority  from  Christ  than  the  other  Apostles. 
Whatever  was  said  to  Peter  was  likewise  said  to  the  others. 
All  bishops  are  of  equal  authority  and  dignity,  whether  their 
jurisdiction  be  episcopal,  archiepiscopal,  patriarchal  or  papal, 
just  as  all  presbyters  are  equal.1 

In  spite  of  these  views,  when  the  question  arose  as  to  the 
place  of  meeting  the  Greeks,  Nicolas  sided  with  the  minority 
in  favor  of  an  Italian  city,  and  was  a  member  of  the  delega- 
tions appointed  by  the  minority  which  visited  Eugenius  IV.  at 
Bologna  and  went  to  Constantinople.  This  was  in  1437  and 
from  that  time  forward  he  was  a  ready  servant  of  Eugenius 
and  his  two  successors.  jEneas  Sylvius,  afterwards  Pius  II., 
called  him  the  Hercules  of  the  Eugenians.  -32neas  also  pro- 
nounced him  a  man  notable  for  learning  in  all  branches  of 
knowledge  and  on  account  of  his  godly  life.2 

1  John  of  Turrecremata,  d.  1468,  whose  tract  on  the  seat  of  authority  in  the 
Church  —  Summa  de  eccles.  et  ejus  auctoritate — 1460  has  already  been  referred 
to,  took  the  extreme  ultramontane  position.  The  papal  supremacy  extends  to 
all  Christians  throughout  the  world  and  includes  the  appointment  of  all  bishops 
and  right  to  depose  them,  the  filling  of  all  prelatures  and  benefices  whatsoever 
and  the  canonizing  of  saints.  As  the  vicar  of  Christ,  he  has  full  jurisdiction 
in  all  the  earth  in  temporal  as  well  as  spiritual  matters  because  all  jurisdiction 
of  secular  princes  is  derived  from  the  pope  quod  omnium  principum  sacula- 
rium  jurisdictionalis  potestas  a  papa  in  eos  derivata  sit.  Quoted  from  Giese- 
ler,  III.  6,  pp.  210-227.  *  Hist,  of  Fred.  III.,  409,  Germ,  transl.  II.  227. 


§  25.      NICOLAS   OF  CUBA.  225 

Eugenius  employed  his  new  supporter  as  legate  to  arrange 
terms  of  peace  with  the  German  Church  and  princes,  an  end 
he  saw  accomplished  in  the  concordat  of  Vienna,  1447.  He 
was  rewarded  by  promotion  to  the  college  of  cardinals,  and 
in  1452  was  made  bishop  of  "Brixen  in  the  Tyrol.  Here  he 
sought  to  introduce  Church  reforms,  and  he  travelled  as  the 
papal  legate  in  the  same  interest  throughout  the  larger  part  of 
Germany. 

By  attempting  to  assert  all  the  mediaeval  f eoffal  rights  of  his 
diocese,  the  bishop  came  into  sharp  conflict  with  Siegmund, 
duke  of  Austria.  Even  the  interdict  pronounced  by  two  popes 
did  not  bring  the  duke  to  terms.  He  declared  war  against  the 
bishop  and,  taking  him  prisoner,  forced  from  him  a  promise 
to  renounce  the  old  rights  which  his  predecessors  for  many 
years  had  not  asserted.  Once  released,  the  bishop  treated  his 
oath  as  null,  on  the  ground  that  it  had  been  forced  from  him, 
and  in  this  he  was  supported  by  Pius  II.  In  1460  he  went  to 
Rome  and  died  at  Todi,  Umbria,  a  few  years  later. 

Nicolas  of  Cusa  knew  Greek  and  Hebrew,  and  perhaps  has 
claim  to  being  the  most  universal  scholar  of  Germany  up  to  his 
day  since  Albertus  Magnus.  He  was  interested  in  astronomy, 
mathematics  and  botany,  and,  as  D'Ailly  had  done  before,  he 
urged,  at  the  Council  of  Basel,  the  correction  of  the  calendar. 
The  literary  production  on  which  he  spent  most  labor  was  a 
discussion  of  the  problems  of  theology — De  docta  ignorantia. 
Here  he  attacked  the  scholastic  method  and  showed  the  in- 
fluence upon  his  mind  of  mysticism,  the  atmosphere  of  which 
he  breathed  at  Deventer.  He  laid  stress  upon  the  limitations 
of  the  human  mind  and  the  inability  of  the  reason  to  find  out 
God  exhaustively.  Faith,  which  he  defined  as  a  state  of  the 
soul  given  of  God's  grace,  finds  out  truths  the  intellect  can- 
not attain  to.1  His  views  had  an  influence  upon  Faber  Stapu- 
lensis  who  edited  the  Cusan's  works  and  was  himself  a  French 
forerunner  of  Luther  in  the  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith, 

His  last  labors,  in  connection  with  the  crusade  against  the 

1  Fides  eat  habitus  bonus,  per  bonitatem  data  a  deo,  ut  per  Jldem  restau- 
rentur  iUce  veritates  objectives,  qitas  intellectus  attingere  non  potest,  quoted 
by  Schwane,  p.  100. 
Q 


226  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Turks  pushed  by  Pius  II. ,  led  him  to  studies  in  the  Koran  and 
the  preparation  of  a  tract, — De  cribatione  Alcoran, — in  which 
he  declared  that  false  religions  have  the  true  religion  as  their 
basis. 

It  is  as  an  ecclesiastical  mediator,  and  as  a  reformer  of  cler- 
ical and  conventual  abuses  that  the  cardinal  has  his  chief  place 
in  history.  He  preached  in  the  vernacular.  In  Bamberg  he 
secured  the  prohibition  of  new  brotherhoods,  in  Magdeburg 
the  condemnation  of  the  sale  of  indulgences  for  money.  In 
Salzburg  and  other  places  he  introduced  reforms  in  convents, 
and  in  connection  with  other  members  of  his  family  he  founded 
the  hospital  at  Cues  with  beds  for  33  patients.  He  showed 
his  interest  in  studies  by  providing  for  the  training  of  20  boys 
in  Deventer.  He  dwelt  upon  the  rotation  of  the  earth  on  its 
axis  nearly  a  century  before  Copernicus.  He  gave  reasons  for 
regarding  the  donation  of  Constantine  spurious,  and  he  also 
called  in  question  the  genuineness  of  other  parts  of  the  Isido- 
rian  Decretals. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  cardinal  was  a  thorough  churchman 
and  obedient  child  of  the  Church.  As  the  agent  of  Nicolas 
V.  he  travelled  in  Germany  announcing  the  indulgence  of  the 
Jubilee  Year,  and  through  him,  it  is  said,  indulgences  to  the 
value  of  200,000  gulden  were  sold  for  the  repair  of  St.  Peter's. 

This  noble  and  many-sided  man  has  been  coupled  together 
with  Gutenberg  by  Janssen,  —  the  able  and  learned  apologist 
of  the  Catholic  Church  in  the  closing  years  of  the  Middle  Ages, 
—  the  one  as  the  champion  of  clerical  and  Church  discipline, 
the  other  the  inventor  of  the  printing-press.  It  is  no  dispar- 
agement of  the  impulses  and  work  of  Nicolas  to  say  that  he 
had  not  the  mission  of  the  herald  of  a  new  age  in  thought  and 
religion  as  it  was  given  to  Gutenberg  to  promote  culture  and 
civilization  by  his  invention.1  He  did  not  possess  the  gift  of 

1  Janssen,  I.  2-6.  Here  we  come  for  the  first  time  into  contact  with  this 
author  whose  work  has  gone  through  20  editions  and  made  such  a  remarkable 
sensation.  Its  conclusions  and  methods  of  treatment  will  be  referred  to  at 
length  farther  on.  Here  it  is  sufficient  to  call  attention  to  the  seductive 
plausibility  of  the  work,  whose  purpose  it  is  to  show  that  an  orderly  refor- 
mation was  going  on  in  the  Church  in  Germany  when  Luther  appeared  and 
by  his  revolutionary  and  immoral  tendency  brutally  rived  the  unity  of  the 


§  26.      POPULAB  PBEACHBKS.  227 

moral  and  doctrinal  conviction  and  foresight  which  made  the 
monk  of  Wittenberg  the  exponent  and  the  herald  of  a  radical, 
religious  reformation  whose  permanent  benefits  are  borne  wit- 
ness to  by  a  large  section  of  Christendom. 

§  26.     Popular  Preachers. 

During  the  century  and  a  half  closing  with  1450,  there  were 
local  groups  of  preachers  as  well  as  isolated  pulpit  orators  who 
exercised  a  deep  influence  upon  congregations.  The  German 
mystics  with  Eckart  and  John  Tauler  at  their  head  preached 
in  Strassburg,  Cologne  and  along  the  Rhine.  D'Ailly  and 
Gerson  stood  before  select  audiences,  and  give  lustre  to  the 
French  pulpit.  Wyclif,  at  Oxford,  and  John  Huss  in  Bohemia, 
attracted  great  attention  by  their  sermons  and  brought  down 
upon  themselves  ecclesiastical  condemnation.  Huss  was  one 
of  a  number  of  Bohemian  preachers  of  eminence.  Wyclif 
sought  to  promote  preaching  by  sending  out  a  special  class  of 
men,  his  "pore  preachers." 

The  popular  preachers  constitute  another  group,  though  the 
period  does  not  furnish  one  who  can  be  brought  into  compari- 
son with  the  field-preacher,  Berthold  of  Regensburg,  the  White- 
field  of  his  century,  d.  1272.  Among  the  popular  preachers 
of  the  time  the  most  famous  were  Bernardino  and  John  of 
Capistrano,  both  Italians,  and  members  of  the  Observant  wing 
of  the  Franciscan  order,  and  the  Spanish  Dominican,  Vincent 
Ferrer.  To  a  later  age  belong  those  bright  pulpit  luminaries, 
Savonarola  of  Florence  and  Geiler  of  Strassburg. 

Bernardino  of  Siena,  1380-1444,  was  praised  by  Pius  II.  as 
a  second  Paul.  He  made  a  marked  impression  upon  Italian 
audiences  and  was  a  favorite  with  pope  Martin  V.  His  voice, 

Church  and  checked  the  orderly  reformation.  Such  a  conclusion  is  a  result 
of  the  manipulation  of  historic  materials  and  the  use  of  superlatives  in  de- 
scribing men  and  influences  which  were  like  rills  in  the  history  of  the  onward 
progress  of  religion  and  civilization.  The  initial  comparison  between  Guten- 
berg and  Nicolas  of  Cusa  begs  the  whole  conclusion  which  Janssen  had  in 
view  in  writing  his  work.  Of  the  permanent  consequence  of  the  work  of  the 
inventor  of  the  printing-press,  no  one  has  any  doubt.  The  author  makes  a 
great  jump  when  he  asserts  a  like  permanent  influence  for  Nicolas  in  the 
department  of  religion. 


228  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

weak  and  indistinct  at  first,  was  said  to  have  been  made  strong 
and  clear  through  the  grace  of  Mary,  to  whom  he  turned  for 
help.  He  was  the  first  vicar-general  of  the  Observants,  who 
numbered  only  a  few  congregations  in  Italy  when  he  joined 
them,  but  increased  greatly  under  his  administration.  In 
1424  he  was  in  Rome  and,  as  Infessura  the  Roman  diarist  re- 
ports,1 so  influenced  the  people  that  they  brought  their  games 
and  articles  of  adornment  to  the  Capitol  and  made  a  bonfire 
of  them.  Wherever  he  went  to  preach,  a  banner  was  carried 
before  him  containing  the  monogram  of  Christ,  IHS,  with 
twelve  rays  centring  in  the  letters.  He  urged  priests  to  put 
the  monogram  on  the  walls  of  churches  and  public  buildings, 
and  such  a  monogram  may  still  be  seen  on  the  city  building 
of  Siena.2  The  Augustinians  and  Dominicans  and  also  Poggio 
attacked  him  for  this  practice.  In  1427,  he  appeared  in  Rome 
to  answer  the  charges.  He  was  acquitted  by  Martin  V.,  who 
gave  him  permission  to  preach  everywhere,  and  instructed  him 
to  hold  an  eighty-days'  mission  in  the  papal  city  itself.  In 
1419,  he  appeared  in  the  Lombard  cities,  where  the  people  were 
carried  away  by  his  exhortations  to  repentance,  and  often  burned 
their  trinkets  and  games  in  the  public  squares.  His  body  lies 
in  Aquila,  and  he  was  canonized  by  Nicolas  V.,  1450. 

John  of  Capistrano,  1386-1456,  a  lawyer,  and  at  an  early  age 
intrusted  with  the  administration  of  Perugia,  joined  the  Obser- 
vants in  1416  and  became  a  pupil  of  Bernardino.  He  made 
a  reputation  as  an  inquisitor  in  Northern  Italy,  converting  and 
burning  heretics  and  Jews.  No  one  could  have  excelled  him 
in  the  ferocity  of  his  zeal  against  heresy.  His  first  appointment 
as  inquisitor  was  made  in  1426,  and  his  fourth  appointment  23 
years  later  in  1449.8 

As  a  leader  of  his  order,  he  defended  Bernardino  in  1427,  and 
was  made  vicar-general  in  1443.  He  extended  his  preaching 

1  Diario,  p.  26.  For  Bernardino,  see  Thureau-Dangin,  St.  Bernardin  de 
Sienne.  Un  predicateur populaire,  Paris,  189(5.  Several  edd.  of  his  sermons 
have  appeared,  including  the  ed.  of  Paris,  1660,  5  vols.,  by  De  la  Haye. 

*  See  Pastor,  I.  231-283. 

8  Jacob,  I.  30  sq.  For  John's  life,  see  E.  Jacob,  John  of  Capistrano.  His 
Life  and  Writings,  2  vols.,  Breslau,  1906,  1907.  Pastor,  I.  463-468,  691-698; 
Lempp's  art.  in  Herzog,  III.  713  sqq.;  Lea,  Inquisition,  II.  662  sqq. 


§  26.      POPULAE  PREACHERS.  22t 

to  Vienna  and  far  up  into  Germany,  from  Niirnberg  to  Dresden, 
Leipzig,  Magdeburg  and  Breslau,  making  everywhere  a  tre- 
mendous sensation.  He  used  the  Latin  or  Italian,  which  had 
to  be  interpreted  to  his  audiences.  These  are  reported  to  have 
numbered  as  many  as  thirty  thousand.1  He  carried  relics  of 
Bernardino  with  him,  and  through  them  and  his  own  instru- 
mentality many  miracles  were  said  to  have  been  performed. 
His  attendants  made  a  note  of  the  wonderful  works  on  the  spot.2 
The  spell  of  his  preaching  was  shown  by  the  burning  of  pointed 
shoes,  games  of  cards,  dice  and  other  articles  of  pleasure  or 
vanity.  Thousands  of  heretics  are  also  reported  to  have  yielded 
to  his  persuasions.  He  was  called  by  Pius  II.  to  preach  against 
the  Hussites,  and  later  against  the  Turks.  He  was  present 
at  the  siege  of  Belgrade,  and  contributed  to  the  successful  de- 
fence of  the  city  and  the  defeat  of  Mohammed  II.  He  was 
canonized  in  1690. 

The  life  of  Vincent  Ferrer,  d.  1419,  the  greatest  of  Spanish 
preachers,  fell  during  the  period  of  the  papal  schism,  and  he 
was  intimately  identified  with  the  controversies  it  called  forth. 
His  name  is  also  associated  with  the  gift  of  tongues  and  with 
the  sect  of  the  Flagellants.  This  devoted  missionary,  born  in 
Valencia,  joined  the  Dominican  order,  and  pursued  his  studies 
in  the  universities  of  Barcelona  and  Lerida.  He  won  the  doc- 
torate of  theology  by  his  tract  on  the  Modern  Schism  in  the 
Church — De  moderno  ecclesice  schismate.  Returning  to  Valen- 
cia, he  gained  fame  as  a  preacher,  and  was  appointed  confessor 
to  the  queen  of  Aragon,  lolanthe,  and  counsellor  to  her  hus- 
band, John  I.  In  1395,  Benedict  XIII.  called  him  to  be  chief 
penitentiary  in  Avignon  and  master  of  the  papal  palace.  Two 
years  later  he  returned  to  Valencia  with  the  title  of  papal 
legate.  He  at  first  defended  the  Avignon  obedience  with  great 
warmth,  but  later,  persuaded  that  Benedict  was  not  sincere  in 
his  professions  looking  to  the  healing  of  the  schism,  withdrew 
from  him  his  support  and  supported  the  Council  of  Constance. 

1  Yea,  60,000  at  Erfurt.    Jacob,  I.  74. 

*  See  Jacob,  I.  60  sqq,,  etc.  JEneas  Sylvius  said  he  had  not  seen  any  of 
John's  miracles,  but  would  not  deny  them.  In  Jena  alone  John  healed 
thirty  lame  persons.  Jacob,  I.  69. 


230  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

Ferrer's  apostolic  labors  began  in  1399.  He  itinerated 
through  Spain,  Northern  Italy  and  France,  preaching  two  and 
three  times  a  day  on  the  great  themes  of  repentance  and  the 
nearness  of  the  judgment.  He  has  the  reputation  of  being  the 
most  successful  of  missionaries  among  the  Jews  and  Moham- 
medans. Twenty-five  thousand  Jews  and  eight  thousand  Mo- 
hammedans are  said  to  have  yielded  to  his  persuasions.  Able 
to  speak  only  Spanish,  his  sermons,  though  they  were  not  in- 
terpreted, are  reported  to  have  been  understood  in  France  and 
Italy.  The  gift  of  tongues  was  ascribed  to  him  by  his  contem- 
poraries as  well  as  the  gift  of  miracles.  Priests  and  singers 
accompanied  him  on  his  tours,  and  some  of  the  hymns  sung  were 
Vincent's  own  compositions.  His  audiences  are  given  as  high 
as  70,000,  an  incredible  number,  and  he  is  said  to  have  preached 
twenty  thousand  times.  He  also  preached  to  the  Waldenses 
in  their  valleys  and  to  the  remnant  of  the  Cathari,  and  is  said 
to  have  made  numerous  converts.  He  himself  was  not  above 
the  suspicion  of  heresy,  and  Eymerich  made  the  charge  against 
him  of  declaring  that  Judas  Iscariot  hanged  himself  because 
the  people  would  not  permit  him  to  live,  and  that  he  found 
pardon  with  God.1  He  was  canonized  by  Calixtus  III.,  1455. 
The  tale  is  that  Ferrer  noticed  this  member  of  the  Borgia  fam- 
ily as  a  young  priest  in  Valencia,  and  made  the  prediction  that 
one  day  he  would  reach  the  highest  office  open  to  mortal  man.2 

On  his  itineraries  Ferrer  was  also  accompanied  by  bands  of 
Flagellants.  He  himself  joined  in  the  flagellations,  and  the 
scourge  with  which  he  scourged  himself  daily,  consisting  of 
six  thongs,  is  said  still  to  be  preserved  in  the  Carthusian  con- 
vent of  Catalonia,  scala  ccelL  Both  Gerson  and  D'Ailly  at- 
tacked Ferrer  for  his  adoption  of  the  Flagellant  delusion.  In 
a  letter  addressed  to  the  Spanish  preacher,  written  during  the 
sessions  of  the  Council  of  Constance,  Gerson  took  the  ground 
that  both  the  Old  Testament  and  the  New  Testament  forbid 


1  Lea:  Inquisition,  II.  168,  176,  268,  284. 

2  Razanno,  a  fellow-Dominican,  wrote  the  first  biography  of  Ferrer,  1466. 
The  Standard  Life  is  by  P.  Fages,  Hist,  de  8.  Vine.  Ferrer  apotre  de  VEu- 
rope,  2  vols.,  2d  ed.,  Louvain,  1901.    The  best  ife  written  by  a  Protestant  is  by 
L.  Heller,  Berlin,  1830.    It  is  commended  in  Wetzer-Welte,  XII.  978-083. 


§  26.      POPULAR  PREACHERS.  231 

violence  done  to  the  body,  quoting  in  proof  Deut.  14 : 1, 
"Ye  shall  not  cut  yourselves."  He  invited  him  to  come  to 
Constance,  but  the  invitation  was  not  accepted.1 

1  For  German  preaching  in  the  fourteenth  century,  other  than  that  of  the 
mystics,  see  Linsenmeyer,  Gesch.  der  Predigt  in  Deutachland  bis  zum  Au*- 
gange  d.  Uten  Jahrh.,  Munich,  1886,  pp.  391-470 ;  Cruel :  Gesch.  d.  deutschen 
Prediyt  im  M.A.,  p. 414  sqq.;  A.  Franz:  Drei deutsche  Minoritenprediger  des 
Xllten  und  XlVten  Jahrh.,  Freiburg,  1JK)7,  pp.  160.  The  best-known 
German  preachers  were  the  Augustinians  Henry  of  Frimar,  d.  1340,  and 
Jordan  of  Quedhnburg,  d.  about  1376.  See  for  the  fifteenth  century,  ch.  IX. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

THE  GERMAN   MYSTICS. 

§  27.     Sources  and  Literature. 

GENERAL  WORKS.  —  *  FRANZ  PFEIFFER:  Deutsche  Mystiker,  2  vols., 
Leipzig,  1857,  2d  ed.  of  vol.  I.,  Gottingen,  1906.  — *  R.  LANOENBERG  :  Quel- 
len  und  Forschungen  zur  Gesch  der  deutschen  Mystik,  Bonn,  1902.— 
F.  GALLE  :  Geistliche  Stimmen  aus  dem  M.A.,  zur  Erbauung,  Halle,  1841. 

—  MRS.  F.  BE  VAN:   Three  Friends  of  God,  Trees  planted  by  the  River,  Lon- 
don.—  *W.  R.  INGE:    Light^  Life  and  Love,  London,  1904.      Selections 
from  ECKART,  TAULER,  Srso,  RUYHBROECK,  etc. — The  works  given  under 
Eckart,  etc.,  in  the  succeeding  sections. — R.  A.  VAUGHAN  :  Hours  with  the 
Mystics.    For  a  long  time  the  chief  English  authority,  offensive  by  the  dia- 
logue style  it  pursues,  and  now  superseded. — *W.  PREGER  :    Gesch.   der 
deutschen  Mystik  im  Mittelalter,  3  vols.,  Leipzig,  1874-1893. —  G.  ULLMANN  : 
Reformatoren  vor  der  Reformation,    vol.    II.,    Hamburg,    1841. — *!NGK: 
Christian  Mysticism,  pp.  148 sqq.,  London,  1899.  —  ELEANOR  C.  GREGORY: 
An  Introd.  to  Christ.  Mysticism,  London,  1901 .  —  W.  R.  NICOLL  :  The  Gar- 
den of  Nuts,  London,  1905.    The  first  four  chapp  give  a  general  treatment 
of  mysticism. —  P.  MEHLHORN:  2).  Bluthezeit  d.  deutschen  Mystik,  Freiburg, 
1907,  pp.  04.  —  *S.  M.  DEUTSCH:  Mystische  Theol.  in  Herzog,  XIX.  6,31  sqq. 

—  CRUEL  :  Gesch.  d.  deutschen  Predigt  im  M.A.,  pp.  370-414.  — A.  RITSCHL  : 
Gesch.  d.  Pietismus,  3  vols.,  Bonn,  1880-1886.  — HARNACK  :  Dogmengesch., 
III.  376  sqq.  —  LOOFS  :  Dogmengesch.,  4th  ed.,  Halle,  1906,  pp.  621-633.— 
W.  JAMES  :  The  Varieties  of  Relig.  Experience,  chs.  XVI.,  XVII. 

For  §  29.  MEISTER  ECKART.  —  German  Sermons  bound  in  a  vol.  with 
TAULER'S  Sermons,  Leipzig,  1498,  Basel,  1621.  —  PFEIFFER:  Deutsche  Mys- 
tiker,  etc.,  vol.  II.,  gives  110  German  sermons,  18  tracts,  and  60  fragments. 

—  *  DENIFLE  :  M.  EckeharCs  Lateinische  Schriften  und  die  Grundanschauung 
seiner  Lehre,  in  Archiv  fur  Lit.  und  Kirchengesch.,  II.  416-652.     Gives 
excerpts  from   his  Latin  writings.  —  F.  JOSTES  :  M.  Eckehart  und  seine 
Junger,  ungedruckte  Tevte  zur  Gesch.  der  deutschen  Mystik,  Freiburg,  1895. 

—  *H.  BUTTNER:  M.  EckeharVs  Schriften  und  Predigten  aus  dem  Mittel- 
hochdeutschen  iibersetzt,  Leipzig,  1903.     Gives  18  German  sermons  and  writ- 
ings.—  G.   LANDAUER:    Eckharfs  mystische  Schriften  in  unsere  Sprache 
ubertragen,  Berlin,  1903.  —  H.  MARTENSEN  :  M.  Eckart,  Hamburg,  1842.  — 
A.  LASSON  :  M.  E.  der  Mystiker,  Berlin,  1868.     Also  the  section  on  Eckart 
by  LASSON  in  Ueberweg's  Hist,  of  Phil.  —  A.   JUNDT  :  Essai  sur  le  mys- 
ticisme  speculatif  d.  M.E.,  Strassburg,  1871 ;  also  Hist,  du  pantheisms  popu- 
laire  au  moyen  age,  1875.    Gives  18  of  Eckart's  sermons.  — PREGER,  I.  309- 


§   27.      SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE.  233 

468.  —  H.  DELACROIX  :  Le  mysticisms  speculatif  en  Attemagne  au  Ue  siecle, 
Paris,  1900.  —  DEUTBCH'S  art.  Eckart  in  Herzog,  V.  142-164.  —  DENIFLE  : 
IHe  Heimath  M.  EckeharVs  in  Archiv  fur  Lit.  und  K.  Gesch.  des  M.A.,  V. 
349-364,  1889.— STOCKL:  Gesch.  der  Phil.,  etc.,  III.  1095-1120.— PFLEI- 
DEEER:  Religionsphilosophie,  Berlin,  2d  ed.,  1883,  p.  8  sqq.  — INGE. — 
L.  ZIEOLER  :  D.  Phil,  und  relig.  Bedeutung  d.  M.  Eckehart  in  Preuss.  Jahr- 
bttcher,  Heft  3,  1904.  —See  a  trans,  of  Eckart's  sermon  on  John  6  :  44,  by 
D.  S.  SCHAFF,  in  Homiletic  Rev.,  1902,  pp.  428-431. 

NOTE.  — Eckart's  German  sermons  and  tracts,  published  in  1498  and  1621, 
were  his  only  writings  known  to  exist  till  Pfeiffer's  ed.,  1867.  Denifle  was 
the  first  to  discover  Eckart's  Latin  writings,  in  the  convent  of  Erfurt,  1880, 
and  at  Cusa  on  the  Mosel,  1886.  These  are  fragments  on  Genesis,  Exodus, 
Ecclesiastes  and  the  Book  of  Wisdom.  John  Trithemius,  in  his  De  scripp. 
eccles.,  1492,  gives  a  list  of  Eckart's  writings  which  indicates  a  literary  activ- 
ity extending  beyond  the  works  we  possess.  The  list  catalogues  four  books 
on  the  Sentences,  commentaries  on  Genesis,  Exodus,  the  Canticles,  the  Book 
of  Wisdom,  St.  John,  on  the  Lord's  Prayer,  etc. 

For  §30.  JOHN  TAULER.—  Tauler's  Works,  Leipzig,  1498  (84  sermons 
printed  from  MSS.  in  Strassburg)  ;  Augsburg,  1608 ;  Basel,  1521  (42  new 
sermons)  and  1622  ;  Halberstadt,  1623 ;  Cologne,  1643  (160  sermons,  28  being 
publ.  for  the  first  time,  and  found  in  St.  Gertrude's  convent,  Cologne);  Frank- 
furt, 1666;  Hamburg,  1621 ;  Frankfurt,  3  vols.,  1826  (the  edition  used  by 
Miss  Winkworth)  ;  ed.  by  J.  HAMBERGER,  1864,  2d  ed.,  Prag,  1872.  The 
best.  Hamberger  substituted  modern  German  in  the  text  and  used  a  Strass- 
burg MS.  which  was  destroyed  by  fire  at  the  siege  of  the  city  in  1870  ;  ed.  by 
KUNTZE  UND  BIESENTHAL  containing  the  Introdd.  of  Arndt  and  Spener, 
Berlin,  1842.  —  *Engl.  trans.,  SUSANNA  WINKWORTH:  The  History  and  Life 
of  fiev.  John  Tauter  with  25  Sermons,  with  Prefaces  by  CANON  KINGS LEY 
and  ROSWELL  I).  HITCHCOCK,  New  York,  1858.  —  *  The  Inner  Way,  36  Ser- 
mons for  Festivals,  by  John  Tauler,  trans,  with  Iiitrod.  by  A.  W.  BUTTON, 
London,  1906.  —  C.SCHMIDT:  J.  Tauler  von  Strassburg,  Hamburg,  1841, 
and  Nicolas  von  Basel,  Bericht  von  der  Bekehrung  Tauler s,  Strassburg,  1875. 
—  DENIFLE:  D.  Buch  von  geistlicher  Armuth,  etc.,  Munich,  1877,  and 
Tauler'' s  Bekehrung,  Munster,  1879.  —  A.  JUNDT  :  Les  amis  de  Dieu  au  If 
siecle,  Paris,  1879.— PREGER,  III.  1-244.  — F.  COHRS  :  Art.  Tauler  in  Herzog, 
XIX.  461-469. 

NOTE.  —  Certain  writings  once  ascribed  to  Tauler,  and  printed  with  his 
works,  are  now  regarded  as  spurious.  They  are  (1)  The  Book  of  Spiritual 
Poverty,  ed.  by  Denifle,  Munich,  1877,  and  previously  under  the  title  Imita- 
tion of  Christ's  Life  of  Poverty,  by  D.  Sudermann,  Frankfurt,  1621,  etc. 
Denifle  pointed  out  the  discord  between  its  teachings  and  the  teachings  of 
Tauler's  sermons.  (2)  Medulla  animce,  consisting  of  77  chapters.  Preger 
decides  some  of  them  to  be  genuine.  (3)  Certain  hymns,  including  Es  kommt 
ein  Schiff  geladen,  which  even  Preger  pronounces  spurious,  III.  86.  They  are 
publ.  by  Wackernagel. 

For  §  81.  HENRY  Suso.  —Ed.  of  his  works,  Augsburg,  1482,  and  1512. — 
*M.  DIEPENBROCK:  H.  Suso' 8,  genannt  Amandus,  Leben  und  Schriften, 
Regensburg,  1829,  4th  ed.,  1884,  with  Preface  by  J.  GORRES.  — H.  SEUSJD 


234  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

DENIFLE  :  D.  deutschen  Schriften  des  aeligen  H.  Sense,  Munich,  1880.  —*H. 
SEUSE  :  Deutsche  Schriften,  ed.  K.  BIHLMEYER,  Stuttgart,  1907.  The  first 
complete  edition,  and  based  upon  an  examination  of  many  MSS.  —  A  Latin 
trans,  of  Suso's  works  by  L.  SURIUS,  Cologne,  1565.  —  French  trans,  by 
THIROT:  Outrages  mystiques  du  bienheureux  H.  Suso,  2  vols.,  Paris,  1899. 
Engl.  extracts  in  Light,  Life  and  Love,  pp.  86-100.  —  PREGER:  D.  Brief e 
H.  Suso's  nach  einer  Handschrift  d.  XV.  Jahrh. ,  Leipzig,  1867.—  C.  SCHMIDT  : 
Der  Mystiker,  H.  Suso  in  Stud,  und  Kritiken,  1843,  pp.  836  sqq.  — PREOER  : 
Deutsche  Mystik,  II.  309-419.  — L.  KARCHER  :  //.  Suso  aus  d.  Predigerorden, 
inFreiburger  Diocesenarchiv,  1808,  p.  187  sqq.  —  CRUEL:  Gesch.  d.  deutschen 
Predigt,  396  sqq.  —Art.  in  WETZER-WELTK,  H.  SEUSK,  V.  1721-1729. 

For  §  82.  THE  FRIENDS  OF  GOD.  —  The  works  of  ECK ART,  TA  ITLER,  Suso, 
RUTSBRCECK.  —  JITNDT  :  Les  Amis  de  Dieu,  Paris,  1879. — KEHSEL  :  Art. 
Gottesfreunde  in  WETZER-WELTE,  V.  893-900. —The  writings  of  RIJLMAN 
MERSWIN  :  Von  den  vier  Jahren  seines  anfahenden  Lebens,  ed.  by  SCHMIDT, 
in  Reuss  and  Cunitz,  Beitrage  zu  den  theol.  Wissenschaften,  V.,  Jena,  1864.  — 
His  Bannerbuchlein  given  in  Jundt's  Les  Amis.  —  Das  Buch  von  den  neun 
Felsen,  ed.  from  the  original  MS.  by  C.  SCHMIDT,  Leipzig,  18-59,  and  in  ab- 
breviated form  by  PREOER,  III.  337-407,  and  DIEPENIIROCK  :  Uvinrich  Suso, 
pp.  605-672.— P.  STRAUCH:  Art.  Rulman Merswin  in  Herzog,  XVII.  20-27. 

—  For  the  "  Friend  of  God  of  the  Oberland  "  and  his  writings.    K.  SCHMIDT  : 
Nicolas  von  Basel:   Leben  und  ausgewahlte  Schriften,  Vienna,  1866,  and 
Nic.  von  Basel,  Bericht  von  der  Bekehrung  Taulers,  Strassburg,  1876.  —  F. 
LAUCHERT  :  Des  Gottesfreundes  im  Oberland  Buch  von  den  zwei  Mannen, 
Bonn,  1896. — C.  SCHMIDT:  Nic.  von  Basel  und  die  Gottesfreunde,  Basel, 
1866.  —  DENIFLE  :  Der  Gottesfreund  im  Oberland  und  Nic.  von  Basel.     Eine 
krit.  Studie,  Munich,  1876. — JLNDT  :  Rulman  Merswin  et  VAim  de  Dieu  de 
V  Oberland,  Paris,  1890.  —PREGER,  III.  290-837.  —  K.  RIEDER  :  Der  Gottes- 
freund vom  Oberland.    Eine  Erflndung  des  Strassburger  Johanmterbruders 
Nicolaus  von  Lowen,  Innsbruck,  1906. 

For  §  33.  JOHN  OF  RUYSBROECK.  —  Vier  Schriften,  ed.  by  ARNSWALDT, 
with  Introd.  by  ULLMANN,  Hanover,  1848.  —  Superseded  by  J.  B.  DAVID 
(prof,  in  Louvaine),  6  vols.,  Ghent,  1857-1868.  Contains  12  writings.— Lat. 
trans,  by  SURIUS,  Cologne,  1649.  —  *F.  A.  LAMBERT:  Drei  Schriften  des 
Mystikers  J.  van  Ruysb.,  Die  Zierde  der  geistl.  Hochzeit,  Vom  glanzenden 
Stein  and  Das  Buch  von  der  hochsten  Wahrheit,  Leipzig.  No  date ;  about 
1906.  Selections  from  Ruysbroeck  in  Light,  Life  and  Love,  pp.  100-196.  — 
*  J.  G.  V.  ENGBLHARDT  :  Rich,  von  St.  Victor  u.  J.  Ruysbroeck,  Erlangen, 
1838.  — ULLM ANN:  Reformatoren,  etc.,  II.  36  sqq.  —  W.  L.  DE  VREESE  : 
Bijdrage  tot  de  kennis  van  het  leven  en  de  werken  van  J.  van  Ruusbroec,  Ghent, 
1896.  — *M.  MAETERLINCK  :  Ruysbr.  and  the  Mystics,  with  Selections  from 
Ruysb.,  London,  1894.  A  trans,  by  JANE  T.  STODDART  of  Maeterlinck's  essay 
prefixed  to  his  L'Ornement  des  noces  spirituelles  de  Ruysb.,  trans,  by  him 
from  the  Flemish,  Brussels,  1891.  —  Art.  Ruysbroeck  in  HERZOG,  XVII.  267- 
273,  by  VAN  VEEN. 

For  §  34.     GERRIT  DE  GROOTE  AND  THE  BROTHERS  OF  THE  COMMON  LIFE. 

—  Lives  of  Groote,  Florentius  and  their  pupils,  by  THOMAS  A  KEMPIS  :    Opera 
omnia,  ed.  by  SOMMALIUB,  Antwerp,  1601,  3  vols.,  Cologne,  1759,  etc.,  and 


§   27.      SOURCES  AND  LITERATURE.  235 

in  unpubl.  MSS.  — J.  BUSCH,  d.  1479:  Liber  de  viris  illustribus,  a  collection 
of  24  biographies  of  Windesheim  brethren,  Antwerp,  1621 ;  also  Chronicon 
Windeshemense,  Antwerp,  1621,  both  ed.  by  GRUBK,  Halle,  1886.— G.  H.  M. 
DELPRAT  :  Verhandeling  over  de  broederschap  van  Geert  Groote  en  over  den 
involoed  der  fraterhuizen,  Arnheim,  etc.,  1856.  —  J.  G.  R.  ACQUOY  (prof,  in 
Leyden)  :  Gerhardi  Magni  epistolas  XIV.,  Antwerp,  1867. — G.  BONET- 
MAURY  :  Gerhard  de  Groot  cTapres  des  documents  inedites,  Paris,  1878.  — 
*  G.  KETTLE  WELL  :  Thomas  a  Kempis  and  the  Brothers  of  the  Common  Life, 
2  vols.,  New  York,  1882.  —  *  K.  GRUBE:  Johannes  Busch,  Augustinerpropst 
in  Hildesheim.  Ein  kathol.  Reformator  im  Uten  Jahrh.,  Freiburg,  1881. 
Also  G.  Groote  und  seine  Stiftungen,  Cologne,  1883.  —  R.  LANGENBEHO  : 
Quellen  und  Forschungen,  etc.,  Bonn,  1902.  — BOERNER:  Die  Annalen  und 
Akten  der  Brilder  des  Gemeinsamen  Lebens  im  Lichtenhofe  zu  Hildesheim, 
eine  Grundlage  der  Gesch.  d.  deutschen  BrMerhduaer  und  ein  Beitrag  zur 
Vorgesch.  der  Reformation,  Furstenwalde,  1906.  — The  artt.  by  K.  HIRSCHB 
in  HERZOG,  2d  ed.,  II.  678-760,  and  L.  SCHULJIE,  HBRZOG,  3d  ed.,  III.,  474- 
607,  and  P.  A.  THIJM  in  WETZER-WELTE,  V.  1286-1289.— ULLMANN:  Refor- 
matoren,  II.  1-201. —LEA:  Inquisition,  II.  360  sqq.  —  UHLHORN  :  Christl 
Liebesthatigkeit  im  M.A.,  Stuttgart,  1884,  pp.  360-375. 

NOTE. — A  few  of  the  short  writings  of  Groote  were  preserved  by  Thomas  & 
Kempis.  To  the  sermons  edited  by  Acquoy,  Langenberg,  pp.  3-33,  has 
added  Groote's  tract  on  simony,  which  he  found  in  the  convent  of  Frenswegen, 
near  Nordhorn.  He  has  also  found  Groote's  Latin  writings.  The  tract  on 
simony  —  de  simonia  ad  Beguttas —  is  addressed  to  the  Beguines  in  answer  to 
the  question  propounded  to  him  by  some  of  their  number  as  to  whether  it  was 
simony  to  purchase  a  place  in  a  Beguine  convent.  The  author  says  that 
simony  " prevails  very  much  everywhere,"  and  that  it  was  not  punished  by 
the  Church.  He  declares  it  to  be  simony  to  purchase  a  place  which  involves 
spiritual  exercises,  and  he  goes  on  to  apply  the  principle  to  civil  offices,  pro- 
nouncing it  simony  when  they  are  bought  for  money.  The  work  is  written 
in  Low  German,  heavy  in  style,  but  interesting  for  the  light  it  throws  on 
practices  current  at  that  time. 

For  §  36.  THE  IMITATION  OP  CHRIST.  —  Edd.  of  A  KEMPIS'  works,  Utrecht, 
1473  (16  writings,  and  omitting  the  Imitation  of  Christ)  ;  Nurnberg,  1494  (20 
writings),  ed.  by  J.  BADIUS,  1620,  1521,  1523;  Paris,  1549;  Antwerp,  1574 ; 
Dillingen,  1676  ;  ed.  by  H.  SOMMALIUS,  3  vols.,  Antwerp,  1599,  3d  ed.  1616 ; 
ed.  by  M.  J.  POHL,  8  vols.  promised  ;  thus  far  6  vols.,  Freiburg  im  Br.,  1903 
sqq.  Best  and  only  complete  ed.  —  THOMAS  A  KEMPIS'  hymns  in  BLUME 
and  DREVES:  Analecta  hymnica,  XL VIII.  pp.  476-614.  — For  biograph. 
and  critical  accounts. — Jon.  BUSCH:  Chron.  Windesemense.  —  H.  Ros- 
WEYDE  :  Chron.  Mt.  S.  Agnetis,  Antwerp,  1615,  and  cum  Rosweydii  vindiciis 
Kempensibus,  1622.  — J.  B.  MALOU  :  Rechercheshistoriq.  et  critiq.  sur  le  veri- 
table auteur  du  livre  de  VImilat.  de  Jesus  Chr.,  Tournay,  1848 ;  3d  ed.,  Paris, 
1858.  —  *  K.  HIRSCHS  :  Prologomena  zu  einer  neuen  Ausgabe  de  imitat.  Chr. 
(with  a  copy  of  the  Latin  text  of  the  MS.  dated  1441),  Berlin,  1873,  1883, 
1894.  —  C.  WOLFBGRUBER  :  Giovanni  Gersen  sein  Leben  und  sein  Werk  de 
Imitat.  Chr.,  Augsburg,  1880. — *S.  KETTLEWELL  :  Th,  a  Kempis  and  the 
Brothers  of  the  Common  Life,  2  vols.,  London,  1882.  Also  Authorship  of 


236  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  de  imitat.  Chr.,  London,  1877,  2d  ed.,  1884.— F.  R.  CHUIBB  :  Th.  d 
Kempis,  with  Notes  of  a  visit  to  the  scenes  in  which  his  life  wets  spent,  with 
some  account  of  the  examination  of  his  relics,  London,  1887.  —  L.  A. 
WHBATLEY:  Story  of  the  Imitat.  of  Chr.,  London,  1891.— DOM  VINCENT 
SCULLY  :  Life  of  the  Venerable  Th.  a  Kempis,  London,  1901.  —  J.  E.  G.  DK 
MONTMORENCY  :  Th.  a  Kempis,  His  Age  and  Book,  London,  1906.  — *  C.  BIGG 
in  Wayside  Sketches  in  Eccles.  Hist.,  London,  1906,  pp.  184-164.— D.  B. 
BUTLER,  Thos.  a  Kempis,  a  Bel.  Study,  London,  1908. — Art.  Thos.  d  Kempis 
in  London  Quarterly  Beview,  April,  1908,  pp.  254-263. 

First  printed  ed  of  the  Latin  text  of  the  Imitat.  of  Christ,  Augsburg,  1472. 
Bound  up  with  Jerome's  de  mris  illust.  and  writings  of  Augustine  and  Th. 
Aquinas.  —  Of  the  many  edd.  in  Kngl.  the  first  was  by  W.  ATKYNSON,  and 
MARGARET,  mother  of  Henry  VII.,  London,  1602,  reprinted  London,  1828,  new 
ed.  by  J.  K.  INGRAM,  London,  1893. —  The  Imitat.  of  Chr.,  being  the  auto- 
graph MS.  of  Th.  a  Kempis  de  Imitat.  Chr.  reproduced  in  facsimile  from 
the  orig.  in  the  royal  libr.  at  Brussels.  With  Introd.  by  C.  RUELENR,  London, 
1879.  —  The  Imitat.  of  Chr.  Now  for  the  first  time  set  forth  in  Rhythm  and 
Sentences.  With  Pref.  by  CANON  LIDDON,  London,  1889.  —  Facsimile  He- 
production  of  the  1st  ed.  of 1471,  with  Hist.  Introd.  by  C.  KNOX-LITTLE,  Lon- 
don, 1894.—  The  Imitat.  of  Chr  ,  trans,  by  CANON  W.  BENHAM,  with  12 
photogravures  after  celebrated  paintings,  London,  1906. — An  ed.  issued 
1881  contains  a  Pref.  by  DEAN  FARRAR.  — R.  P.  A.  DE  BACKER  :  Essai  bib- 
Iwgraph.  sur  le  lime,  de  imitat.  Chr.,  Liege,  1864.  — For  further  lit.  on  the 
Imitat.  of  Chr.,  see  the  Note  at  the  end  of  §  36. 


§  28.    The  New  Mysticism. 

In  joy  of  inward  peace,  or  sense 

Of  sorrow  over  sin, 
He  is  his  own  best  evidence  — 

His  witness  is  within. 

—  WHITTIER,  Our  Master. 

At  the  time  when  the  scholastic  method  was  falling  into 
disrepute  and  the  scandals  of  the  Avignon  court  and  the 
papal  schism  were  shaking  men's  faith  in  the  foundations  of 
the  Church,  a  stream  of  pure  pietism  was  watering  the  regions 
along  the  Rhine,  from  Basel  to  Cologne,  and  from  Cologne  to 
the  North  Sea.  North  of  the  Alps,  voices  issuing  from  con- 
vents and  from  the  ranks  of  the  laity  called  attention  to  the 
value  of  the  inner  religious  life  and  God's  immediate  com- 
munications to  the  soul. 

To  this  religious  movement  has  recently  been  given  the 
name,  the  Dominican  mysticism,  on  account  of  the  large 


§  28.      THE  NEW  MYSTICISM.  237 

number  of  its  representatives  who  belonged  to  the  Domini- 
can order.  The  older  name,  German  mysticism,  which  is  to 
be  preferred,  points  to  the  locality  where  it  manifested  itself, 
and  to  the  language  which  the  mystics  for  the  most  part 
used  in  their  writings.  Like  the  Protestant  Reformation, 
the  movement  had  its  origin  on  German  soil,  but,  unlike 
the  Reformation,  it  did  not  spread  beyond  Germany  and  the 
Lowlands.  Its  chief  centres  were  Strassburg  and  Cologne; 
its  leading  representatives  the  speculative  Meister  Eckart,  d. 
1327,  John  Tauler,  d.  1361,  Henry  Suso,  d.  1366,  John  Ruys- 
broeck,  d.  1381,  Gerrit  Groote,  d.  1384,  and  Thomas  a  Kempis, 
d.  1471.  The  earlier  designation  for  these  pietists  was 
Friends  of  God.  The  Brothers  of  the  Common  Life,  the 
companions  and  followers  of  Groote,  were  of  the  same  type, 
but  developed  abiding  institutions  of  practical  Christian 
philanthropy.  In  localities  the  Beguines  and  Beghards  also 
breathed  the  same  devotional  and  philanthropic  spirit.  The 
little  book  called  the  German  Theology,  and  the  Imitation  of 
Christ,  were  among  the  finest  fruits  of  the  movement.  Gerson 
and  Nicolas  of  Cusa  also  had  a  strong  mystical  vein,  but 
they  are  not  to  be  classed  with  the  German  mystics.  With 
them  mysticism  was  an  incidental,  not  the  distinguishing, 
quality. 

The  mystics  along  the  Rhine  formed  groups  which,  however, 
were  not  bound  together  by  any  formal  organization.  Their 
only  bond  was  the  fellowship  of  a  common  religious  purpose. 

Their  religious  thought  was  not  always  homogeneous  in  its 
expression,  but  all  agreed  in  the  serious  attempt  to  secure 
purity  of  heart  and  life  through  union  of  the  soul  with  God. 
Mysticism  is  a  phase  of  Christian  life.  It  is  a  devotional 
habit,  in  contradistinction  to  the  outward  and  formal  practice 
of  religious  rules.  It  is  a  religious  experience  in  contrast  to 
a  mere  intellectual  assent  to  tenets.  It  is  the  conscious  effort 
of  the  soul  to  apprehend  and  possess  God  and  Christ,  and  ex- 
presses itself  in  the  words,  "I  live,  and  yet  not  I  but  Christ 
liveth  in  me."  It  is  essentially  what  is  now  called  in  some 
quarters  "personal  religion."  Perhaps  the  shortest  defi- 
nition of  mysticism  is  the  best.  It  is  the  love  of  God  shed 


238  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

abroad  in  the  heart.1  The  element  of  intuition  has  a  large 
place,  and  the  avenues  through  which  religious  experience 
is  reached  are  self-detachment  from  the  world,  self-purga- 
tion, prayer  and  contemplation. 

Without  disparaging  the  sacraments  or  disputing  the  au- 
thority of  the  Church,  the  Germanmystics  soughtabetterway. 
They  laid  stress  upon  the  meaning  of  such  passages  as  "  he 
that  believeth  in  me  shall  never  hunger  and  he  that  cometh 
unto  me  shall  never  thirst,"  "  he  that  loveth  me  shall  be  loved 
of  my  Father  "  and  "  he  that  f olloweth  me  shall  not  walk  in 
darkness."  The  word  love  figures  most  prominently  in  their 
writings.  Among  the  distinctive  terms  in  vogue  among  them 
were  Abffeschiedenheit^  Eckart's word  for  self-detachment  from 
the  world  and  that  which  is  temporal,  and  Kehr,  Tauler's 
oft-used  word  for  conversion.  They  laid  stress  upon  the 
new  birth,  and  found  in  Christ's  incarnation  a  type  of  the 
realization  of  the  divine  in  the  soul. 

German  mysticism  had  a  distinct  individuality  of  its  own. 
On  occasion,  its  leaders  quoted  Augustine's  Confessions  and 
other  works,  Dionysius  the  Areopagite,  Bernard  and  Thomas 
Aquinas,  but  they  did  not  have  the  habit  of  referring  back  to 
human  authorities  as  had  the  Schoolmen,  bulwarking  every 
theological  statement  by  patristic  quotations,  or  statements 
taken  from  Aristotle.  The  movement  arose  like  a  root  out 
of  a  dry  ground  at  a  time  of  great  corruption  and  distraction 
in  the  Church,  and  it  arose  where  it  might  have  been  least  ex- 
pected to  arise.  Its  field  was  the  territory  along  the  Rhine 
where  the  heretical  sects  had  had  representation.  It  was  a 
fresh  outburst  of  piety,  an  earnest  seeking  after  God  by  other 
paths  than  the  religious  externalism  fostered  by  sacerdotal 

*  See  Inge,  Engl.  Mystics,  p.  37.  This  author,  in  his  Christian  Mysticism, 
p.  5,  gives  the  definition  that  mysticism  is  "the  attempt  to  realize  in  the 
thought  and  feeling  the  immanence  of  the  temporal  in  the  eternal  and  of  the 
eternal  in  the  temporal."  His  statements  in  another  place,  The  Inner  Way, 
pp.  xx-xxii,  are  more  simple  and  illuminating.  The  mystical  theology  is 
that  knowledge  of  God  and  of  divine  things  which  is  derived  not  from  obser- 
vation or  from  argument  but  from  conscious  experience.  The  difficulty  of 
giving  a  precise  definition  of  mysticism  is  seen  in  the  definitions  Inge  cites, 
Christian  Mysticism,  Appendix  A.  Comp.  Deutsch,  p.  632  sq. 


§  28.      THE  NEW  MYSTICISM.  239 

prescriptions  and  scholastic  dialectics.  The  mystics  led  the 
people  back  from  the  clangor  and  tinkling  of  ecclesiastical 
symbolisms  to  the  refreshing  springs  of  water  which  spring 
up  into  everlasting  life. 

Compared  with  the  mysticism  of  the  earlier  Middle  Ages 
and  the  French  quietism  of  the  seventeenth  century,  repre- 
sented by  Madame  Guyon,  Fenelon  and  their  predecessor 
the  Spaniard  Miguel  de  Molinos,  German  mysticism  likewise 
has  its  own  distinctive  features.  The  religion  of  Bernard 
expressed  itself  in  passionate  and  rapturous  love  for  Jesus. 
Madame  Guyon  and  F6nelon  set  up  as  the  goal  of  religion  a 
state  of  disinterested  love,  which  was  to  be  reached  chiefly 
by  prayer,  an  end  which  Bernard  felt  it  scarcely  possible  to 
reach  in  this  world. 

The  mystics  along  the  Rhine  agreed  with  all  genuine 
mystics  in  striving  after  the  direct  union  of  the  soul  with 
God.  They  sought,  as  did  Eckart,  the  loss  of  our  being  in 
the  ocean  of  the  Godhead,  or  with  Tauler  the  undisturbed 
peace  of  the  soul,  or  with  Ruysbroeck  the  impact  of  the  divine 
nature  upon  our  nature  at  its  innermost  point,  kindling  with 
divine  love  as  fire  kindles.  With  this  aspiration  after  the 
complete  apprehension  of  God,  they  combined  a  practical  ten- 
dency. Their  silent  devotion  and  meditation  were  not  final 
exercises.  They  were  moved  by  warm  human  sympathies, 
and  looked  with  almost  reverential  regard  upon  the  usual 
pursuits  and  toil  of  men.  They  approached  close  to  the  idea 
that  in  the  faithful  devotion  to  daily  tasks  man  may  realize 
the  highest  type  of  religious  experience. 

By  preaching,  by  writing  and  circulating  devotional  works, 
and  especially  by  their  own  examples,  they  made  known  the 
secret  and  the  peace  of  the  inner  life.  In  the  regions  along 
the  lower  Rhine,  the  movement  manifested  itself  also  in  the 
care  of  the  sick,  and  notably  in  schools  for  the  education  of 
the  young.  These  schools  proved  to  be  preparatory  for  the 
German  Reformation  by  training  a  body  of  men  of  wider 
outlook  and  larger  sympathies  than  the  mediaeval  convent 
was  adapted  to  rear. 

For  the  understanding  of  the  spirit  and  meaning  of  Ger- 


240  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

man  mysticism,  no  help  is  so  close  at  hand  as  the  comparison 
between  it  and  mediaeval  scholasticism.  This  religious  move- 
ment was  the  antithesis  of  the  theology  of  the  Schoolmen ; 
Eckart  and  Tauler  of  Thomas  Aquinas,  the  German  Theol- 
ogy of  the  endless  argumentation  of  Duns  Scotus,  the  Imita- 
tion of  Christ  of  the  cumbersome  exhaustiveness  of  Albertus 
Magnus.  Roger  Bacon  had  felt  revulsion  from  the  hair- 
splitting casuistries  of  the  Schoolmen,  and  given  expression  to 
it  before  Eckart  began  his  activity  at  Cologne.  Scholasticism 
had  trodden  a  beaten  and  dusty  highway.  The  German 
mystics  walked  in  secluded  and  shady  pathwaj's.  For  a 
catalogue  of  dogmatic  maxims  they  substituted  the  quiet  ex- 
pressions of  filial  devotion  and  assurance.  The  speculative 
element  is  still  prominent  in  Eckart,  but  it  is  not  indulged 
for  the  sake  of  establishing  doctrinal  rectitude,  but  for  the 
nurture  of  inward  experience  of  God's  operations  in  the  soul. 
Godliness  with  these  men  was  not  a  system  of  careful  defini- 
tions, it  was  a  state  of  spiritual  communion;  not  an  elabo- 
rate construction  of  speculative  thought,  but  a  simple  faith 
and  walk  with  God.  Not  processes  of  logic  but  the  insight 
of  devotion  was  their  guide.1  As  Loofs  has  well  said,  Ger- 
man mysticism  emphasized  above  all  dogmas  and  all  ex- 
ternal works  the  necessity  of  the  new  birth.2 

It  also  had  its  dangers.  Socrates  had  urged  men  not  to 
rest  hopes  upon  the  Delphian  oracle,  but  to  listen  to  the  voice 
in  their  own  bosoms.  The  mystics,  in  seeking  to  hear  the 
voice  of  God  speaking  in  their  own  hearts,  ran  peril  of  mag- 
nifying individualism  to  the  disparagement  of  what  was 
common  to  all  and  of  mistaking  states  of  the  overwrought 
imagination  for  revelations  from  God.8 

Although  the  German  mystical  writers  have  not  been 

1  It  is  quite  in  keeping  with  this  contrast  that  Pfleiderer,  in  his  Religions- 
philo sophie,  excludes  the  German  mystics  from  a  place  in  the  history  of  Ger- 
man philosophy  on  the  ground  that  their  thinking  was  not  distinctly  system- 
atic. He,  however,  gives  a  brief  statement  to  Eckart,  but  excludes  Jacob 
Boehme.  a  Dogmengesch.,  p.  631. 

8  Nicoll,  Garden  of  Nuts,  p.  31,  says,  "We  study  the  mystics  to  learn  from 
them.  It  need  not  be  disguised  that  there  are  great  difficulties  in  the  way. 
The  mystics  are  the  most  individual  of  writers,"  etc. 


§  28.      THE  NEW  MYSTICISM.  241 

quoted  in  the  acts  of  councils  or  by  popes  as  have  been  the 
theologies  of  the  Schoolmen,  they  represented,  if  we  follow 
the  testimonies  of  Luther  and  Melanchthon,  an  important 
stage  in  the  religious  development  of  the  German  people,  and 
it  is  certainly  most  significant  that  the  Reformation  broke 
out  on  the  soil  where  the  mystics  lived  and  wrought,  and 
their  piety  took  deep  root.  They  have  a  perennial  life  for 
souls  who,  seeking  devotional  companionship,  continue  to  go 
back  to  the  leaders  of  that  remarkable  pietistic  movement. 

The  leading  features  of  the  mysticism  of  the  fourteenth  and 
fifteenth  centuries  may  be  summed  up  in  the  following  prop- 
ositions. 

1.  Its  appeals  were  addressed  to  laymen  as  well  as  to  clerics. 

2.  The  mystics  emphasized  instruction  and  preaching,  and, 
if  we  except  Suso,  withdrew  the  emphasis  which  had  been 
laid  upon  the  traditional  ascetic  regulations  of  the  Church. 
They  did  not  commend  bufferings  of  the  body.     The  dis- 
tance between  Peter  Damiani  and  Tauler  is  world-wide. 

3.  They  used  the  New  Testament  more  than  they  used  the 
Old  Testament,  and  the  words  of  Christ  took  the  place  of  the 
Canticles  in  their  interpretations  of  the  mind  of  God.     The 
German  Theology  quotes  scarcely  a  single  passage  which  is 
not  found  in  the  New  Testament,  and  the  Imitation  of  Christ 
opens  with  the  quotation  of  words  spoken  by  our  Lord. 
Eckart  and  Tauler  dwell  upon  passages  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment, and  Ruysbroeck  evolves  the  fulness  of  his  teaching 
from  Matthew  25 :  6,  "  Behold  the  Bridegroom  cometh,  go 
ye  out  to  meet  him." 

4.  In  the  place  of  the  Church,  with  its  sacraments  and 
priesthood  as  a  saving  institution,  is  put  Christ  himself  as 
the  mediator  between  the  soul  and  God,  and  he  is  offered  as 
within  the  reach  of  all. 

5.  A  pure  life  is  taught  to  be  a  necessary  accompaniment 
of  the  higher  religious  experience,  and  daily  exemplification 
is  demanded  of  that  humility  which  the  Gospel  teaches. 

6.  Another  notable  feature  was  their  use  of  the  vernacular 
in  sermon  and  treatise.     The  mystics  are  among  the  very 
earliest  masters  of  German  and  Dutch  prose.     In  the  Intro- 


242  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

duction  to  his  second  edition  of  the  German  Theology^ 
Luther  emphasized  this  aspect  of  their  activity  when  he  said, 
44 1  thank  God  that  I  have  heard  and  find  my  God  in  the  Ger- 
man tongue  as  neither  I  nor  they  [the  adherents  of  the  old 
way]  have  found  Him  in  the  Latin  and  Hebrew  tongues." 
In  this  regard  also  the  mystics  of  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth 
centuries  were  precursors  of  the  evangelical  movement  of  the 
sixteenth  century.  Their  practice  was  in  plain  conflict  with 
the  judgment  of  that  German  bishop  who  declared  that  the 
German  language  was  too  barbarous  a  tongue  to  be  a  proper 
vehicle  of  religious  truth. 

The  religious  movement  represented  by  German  and  Dutch 
mysticism  is  an  encouraging  illustration  that  God's  Spirit 
may  be  working  effectually  in  remote  and  unthought-of 
places  and  at  times  when  the  fabric  of  the  Church  seems  to  be 
hopelessly  undermined  with  formalism,  clerical  corruption  and 
hierarchical  arrogance  and  worldliness.  It  was  so  at  a  later 
day  when,  in  the  little  and  remote  Moravian  town  of  Ilerrn- 
hut,  God  was  preparing  the  weak  things  of  the  world,  and 
the  things  which  were  apparently  foolish,  to  confound  the 
dead  orthodoxy  of  German  Protestantism  and  to  lead  the 
whole  Protestant  Church  into  the  way  of  preaching  the  Gos- 
pel in  all  the  world.  No  organized  body  survived  the  mystics 
along  the  Rhine,  but  their  example  and  writings  continue  to 
encourage  piety  and  simple  faith  toward  God  within  the  pale 
of  the  Catholic  and  Protestant  churches  alike. 

A  classification  of  the  German  mystics  on  the  basis  of 
speculative  and  practical  tendencies  has  been  attempted,  but 
it  cannot  be  strictly  carried  out.1  In  Eckart  and  Ruysbroeck, 
the  speculative  element  was  in  the  ascendant ;  in  Tauler,  the 

1  See  Preger,  1. 8,  and  Ullmann,  Iteformatoren,  II.  203.  Harnack  goes  far 
when  he  denies  all  originality  to  the  German  mystics.  Of  Eckart  he  says, 
Dogmenyesch.,  III.  378,  "  I  give  no  extracts  from  his  writings  because  I  do 
not  wish  to  seem  to  countenance  the  error  that  the  German  mystics  expressed 
anything  we  cannot  read  in  Origen,  Plotlnus,  the  Areopagite,  Augustine, 
Erigena,  Bernard  and  Thomas  Aquinas,  or  that  they  represented  a  stage  of 
religious  progress.**  The  message  they  announced  was  certainly  a  fresh  one 
to  their  generation,  even  if  all  they  said  had  been  said  before.  They  spoke 
from  the  living  sources  of  their  own  spiritual  experience.  They  were  not 


§  29.      MEISTEU  ECKAET.  243 

devotional ;  in  Suso,  the  emotional;  in  Groote  and  other  men 
of  the  Lowlands,  the  practical. 

§  29.    Meister  Eckart. 

Meister  Eckart,  1260-1327,  the  first  in  the  line  of  the  Ger- 
man mystics,  was  excelled  in  vigor  of  thought  by  no  religious 
thinker  of  his  century,  and  was  the  earliest  theologian  who 
wrote  in  German.1  The  philosophical  bent  of  his  mind  won 
for  him  from  Hegel  the  title,  "  father  of  German  philosophy.** 
In  spite  of  the  condemnation  passed  upon  his  writings  by  the 
pope,  his  memory  was  regarded  with  veneration  by  the  suc- 
ceeding generation  of  mystics.  His  name,  however,  was  al- 
most forgotten  in  later  times.  Mosheim  barely  mentions  it, 
and  the  voluminous  historian,  Schroeckh,  passes  it  by  alto- 
gether. Baur,  in  his  History  of  the  Middle  Age*)  devotes  to 
Eckart  and  Tauler  only  three  lines,  and  these  under  the  head 
of  preaching,  and  makes  no  mention  at  all  of  German  mysti- 
cism. His  memory  again  came  to  honor  in  the  last  century, 
and  in  the  German  church  history  of  the  later  Middle  Ages 
he  is  now  accorded  a  place  of  pre-eminence  for  his  fresh- 
ness of  thought,  his  warm  piety  and  his  terse  German  style.2 
With  Albertus  Magnus  and  Rupert  of  Deutz  he  stands  out 
an  the  earliest  prominent  representative  in  the  history  of 
German  theology. 

imitators.  Harnack,  however,  goes  on  to  give  credit  to  the  German  mystics 
for  fulfilling  a  mission  when  he  says  they  are  of  invaluable  worth  for  the 
history  of  doctrine  and  the  church  history  of  Germany.  In  the  same  con- 
nection he  denies  the  distinction  between  mysticism  and  scholastic  theology. 
"  Mysticism,'1  he  asserts,  "  cannot  exist  in  the  Protestant  Church,  and  the 
Protestant  who  is  a  mystic  and  does  not  become  a  Roman  Catholic  is  a 
dilettante.19  This  condemnation  is  based  upon  the  untenable  premise  that 
mysticism  is  essentially  conventual,  excluding  sane  intellectual  criticism  and 
a  practical  out-of-doors  Christianity. 

1  Eckart's  name  is  written  in  almost  every  conceivable  way  in  the  docu- 
ments. See  BUttner,  p.  zxii,  as  Eckardus,  Eccardus,  Egghardus ;  Deutsch 
and  Delacroix,  Eckart ;  Pfeiffer,  Preger,  Inge  and  Langenberg,  Eckhart ; 
Denifle  and  Bttttner,  Eckehart.  His  writings  give  us  scarcely  a  single  clew  to 
his  fortunes.  Quiltif-Echard  was  the  first  to  lift  the  veil  from  portions  of  his 
career.  See  Freger,  I.  825. 

9  Deutsch,  Herzog,  V.  140,  says  that  part*  of  Eckart's  sermons  might  serve 
as  models  of  German  style  to-day. 


244  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

During  the  century  before  Eckart,  the  German  church 
also  had  its  mystics,  and  in  the  twelfth  century  the  godly 
women,  Hildegard  of  Bingen  and  Elizabeth  of  Schonau,  added 
to  the  function  of  prophecy  a  mystical  element.  In  the 
thirteenth  century  the  Benedictine  convent  of  Helfta,  near 
Eisleben,  Luther's  birthplace,  was  a  centre  of  religious  warmth. 
Among  its  nuns  were  several  by  the  names  of  Gertrude  and 
Mechthild,  who  excelled  by  their  religious  experiences,  and 
wrote  on  the  devotional  life.  Gertrude  of  Hackeborn,  d. 
1292,  abbess  of  Helfta,  and  Gertrude  the  Great,  d.  1302, 
professed  to  have  immediate  communion  with  the  Saviour 
and  to  be  the  recipients  of  divine  revelations.  When  one  of 
the  Mechthilds  asked  Christ  where  he  was  to  be  found,  the 
reply  was,  "  You  may  seek  me  in  the  tabernacle  and  in  Ger- 
trude's heart."  From  1203  Gertrude  the  Great  recorded  her 
revelations  in  a  work  called  the  Communications  of  Piety  — 
Insinuationes  divince  pietatis.  Mechthil J  of  Magdeburg,  d. 
1280,  and  Mechthild  of  Hackeborn,  d.  1310,  likewise  nuns  of 
Helfta,  also  had  visions  which  they  wrote  out.  The  former, 
who  for  thirty  years  had  been  a  Beguine,  Deutsch  calls  "  one 
of  the  most  remarkable  personalities  in  the  religious  history 
of  thethirteenth century."  Meehthild of  Hackeborn, ayounger 
sister  of  the  abbess  Gertrude,  in  her  book  on  special  grace,  — 
Liber  specialis  gratice^ — sets  forth  salvation  as  the  gift  of 
grace  without  the  works  of  the  law.  These  women  wrote  in 
German.1 

David  of  Augsburg,  d.  1271,  the  inquisitor  who  wrote  on  the 
inquisition, — De  inquisitione  hcereticorum,  —  also  wrote  on  the 
devotional  life.  These  writings  were  intended  for  monks,  and 
two  of  them  2  are  regarded  as  pearls  of  German  prose. 

1  Flacius  Illyricus  includes  the  second  Mechthild  in  bis  Catal.  veritati*. 
For  the  lives  of  these  women  and  the  editions  of  their  works,  see  Preger,  I. 
71-132,  an<l  the  artt.  of  Deutsch  and  Zockler  in  Herzog.     Some  of  the  elder 
Mechthild's  predictions  and  descriptions  seem  to  have  been  used  by  Dante. 
See  Preger,  p.  103  sq.     Mechthild  v.  Magdeburg :   D.  Jliessende  Licht  der 
Gotthnt,  Berlin,  1007. 

2  Die  sieben  Vorregeln  der  Tugend  and  der  Spiegel  der  Tugend,  both  given 
by  PfeifEer,  together  with  other  tract*,  the  genuineness  of  some  of  which  is 
doubted.    See  Preger,  L  268-283,  and  Lempp  in  Herzog,  IV.  603  sq. 


§  29.      MEISTER  BCKAKT.  245 

In  the  last  years  of  the  thirteenth  century,  the  Franciscan 
Lamprecht  of  Regensburg  wrote  a  poem  entitled  "  Daughter  of 
Zion"  (Cant.  III.  11),  which,  in  a  mystical  vein,  depicts  the 
soul,  moved  by  the  impulse  of  love,  and  after  in  vain  seeking 
its  satisfaction  in  worldly  things,  led  by  faith  and  hope  to  God. 
The  Dominicans,  Dietrich  of  Freiburg  and  John  of  Stern  gas- 
sen,  were  also  of  the  same  tendency.1  The  latter  labored  in 
Strassburg. 

Eckart  broke  new  paths  in  the  realm  of  German  religious 
thought.  He  was  born  at  Hochheim,  near  Gotha,  and  died 
probably  in  Cologne.2  In  the  last  years  of  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury he  was  prior  of  the  Dominican  convent  of  Erfurt,  and  pro- 
vincial of  the  Dominicans  in  Thuringia,  and  in  1300  was  sent 
to  Paris  to  lecture,  taking  the  master's  degree,  and  later  the 
doctorate.  After  his  sojourn  in  France  he  was  made  prior 
of  his  order  in  Saxony,  a  province  at  that  time  extending  from 
the  Lowlands  to  Livland.  In  1311  he  was  again  sent  to  Paris 
as  a  teacher.  Subsequently  he  preached  in  Strassburg,  was 
prior  in  Frankfurt,  1320,  and  thence  went  to  Cologne. 

Charges  of  heresy  were  preferred  against  him  in  1325  by 
the  archbishop  of  Cologne,  Henry  of  Virneburg.  The  same 
year  the  Dominicans,  at  their  general  chapter  held  in  Venice, 
listened  to  complaints  that  certain  popular  preachers  in  Ger- 
many were  leading  the  people  astray,  and  sent  a  representa- 
tive to  make  investigations.  Henry  of  Virneburg  had  shown 
himself  zealous  in  the  prosecution  of  heretics.  In  1322,  Walter, 
a  Beghard  leader,  was  burnt,  and  in  1325  a  number  of  Beg- 
hards  died  in  the  flames  along  the  Rhine.  It  is  possible  that 
Eckart  was  quoted  by  these  sectaries,  and  in  this  way  was 
exposed  to  the  charge  of  heresy. 

The  archbishop's  accusations,  which  had  been  sent  to  Rome, 
were  set  aside  by  Nicolas  of  Strassburg,  Eckart's  friend, 
who  at  the  time  held  the  position  of  inquisitor  in  Germany. 
In  1327,  the  archbishop  again  proceeded  against  the  suspected 
preacher  and  also  against  Nicolas.  Both  appealed  from  the 

*  Denifle,  Archiv,  etc.,  II.  240,  529. 

2  Till  the  investigations  of  Denifle,  his  place  of  birth  was  usually  given  as 
Stnwsburg.  See  Denifle,  p.  355. 


246  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

archbishop's  tribunal  to  the  pope.  In  February,  Eckart  made 
a  public  statement  in  the  Dominican  church  at  Cologne, 
declaring  he  had  always  eschewed  heresy  in  doctrine  and 
declension  in  morals,  and  expressed  his  readiness  to  retract 
errors,  if  such  should  be  found  in  his  writings.1 

In  a  bull  dated  March  27,  1329,  John  XXII.  announced 
that  of  the  26  articles  charged  against  Eckart,  15  were  hereti- 
cal and  the  remaining  11  had  the  savor  of  heresy.  Two  other 
articles,  not  cited  in  the  indictment,  were  also  pronounced 
heretical.  The  papal  decision  stated  that  Eckart  had  ac- 
knowledged the  17  condemned  articles  as  heretical.  There 
is  no  evidence  of  such  acknowledgment  in  the  offender's 
extant  writing.2 

Among  the  articles  condemned  were  the  following.  As 
soon  as  God  was,  He  created  the  world.  —  The  world  is 
eternal.  —  External  acts  are  not  in  a  proper  sense  good  and 
divine.  —  The  fruit  of  external  acts  does  not  make  us  good, 
but  internal  acts  which  the  Father  works  in  us.  —  God  loves 
the  soul,  not  external  acts.  The  two  added  articles  charged 
Eckart  with  holding  that  there  is  something  in  the  soul 
which  is  uncreated  and  uncreatable,  and  that  God  is  neither 
good  nor  better  nor  best,  so  that  God  can  no  more  be  called 
good  than  white  can  be  called  black. 

Eckart  merits  study  as  a  preacher  and  as  a  mystic  theo- 
logian. 

1  Ego  magister  Ekardus,  doctor  sac.  theol.,  protestor  ante  omnia,  quod 
omnem  errorem  in  fide  et  omnem  deformitatem  inmonbus  semper  in  quantum 
mihi  possiltile  fuit,  sum  detestatus,  etc.  Preger,  I.  476-478.  Preger,  I.  471 
sqq.,  gives  the  Latin  text  of  Eckart's  statement  of  Jan.  24,  1327,  before  the 
archiepiscopal  court,  his  public  statement  of  innocence  in  the  Dominican 
church  and  the  document  containing  the  court's  refusal  to  allow  his  appeal 
to  Rome. 

8  The  20  articles,  as  Denifle  has  shown,  were  based  upon  Eckart's  Latin 
writings.  John's  bull  is  given  by  Preger,  I.  479-182,  and  by  Denifle,  Archiv, 
II.  086-640.  Preger,  I.  366 sqq.,  Delacroix,  p.  238  and  Deutsch,  V.  146,  insist 
that  Eckart  made  no  specific  recantation.  The  pope's  reference  must  have 
been  to  the  statement  Eckart  made  in  the  Dominican  church,  which  con- 
tained the  words,  "  I  will  amend  and  revoke  in  general  and  in  detail,  as  often 
as  may  be  found  opportune,  whatever  is  discovered  to  have  a  less  wholesome 
sense,  intellectum  minus  sane. 


§  29.      MEI8TER   ECKART.  247 

As  A  PREACHER.  —  His  sermons  were  delivered  in  churches 
and  at  conferences  within  cloistral  walls.  His  style  is  graphic 
and  attractive,  to  fascination.  The  reader  is  carried  on  by 
the  progress  of  thought.  The  element  of  surprise  is  promi- 
nent. Eckart's  extant  sermons  are  in  German,  and  the 
preacher  avoids  dragging  in  Latin  phrases  to  explain  his 
meaning,  though,  if  necessary,  he  invents  new  German  terms. 
He  quotes  the  Scriptures  frequently,  and  the  New  Testament 
more  often  than  the  Old,  the  passages  most  dwelt  upon  being 
those  which  describe  the  new  birth,  the  sonship  of  Christ  and 
believers,  and  love.  Eckart  is  a  master  in  the  use  of  illus- 
trations, which  he  drew  chiefly  from  the  sphere  of  daily  ob- 
servation, —  the  world  of  nature,  the  domestic  circle  and  the 
shop.  Although  he  deals  with  some  of  the  most  abstruse 
truths,  he  betrays  no  ambition  to  make  a  show  of  speculative 
subtlety.  On  the  contrary,  he  again  and  again  expresses  a 
desire  to  be  understood  by  his  hearers,  who  are  frequently 
represented  as  in  dialogue  with  himself  and  asking  for  expla- 
nations of  difficult  questions.  Into  the  dialogue  are  thrown 
such  expressions  as  "  in  order  that  you  may  understand, "  and 
in  using  certain  illustrations  he  on  occasion  announces  that 
he  uses  them  to  make  himself  understood.1 

The  following  is  a  resume  of  a  sermon  on  John  6  : 44, 
"  No  man  can  come  unto  me  except  the  Father  draw  him."2 
In  drawing  the  sinner  that  He  may  convert  him,  God  draws 
with  more  power  than  he  would  use  if  He  were  to  make  a 
thousand  heavens  and  earths.  Sin  is  an  offence  against  nature, 
for  it  breaks  God's  image  in  us.  For  the  soul,  sin  is  death,  for 
God  is  the  soul's  true  life.  For  the  heart,  it  is  restlessness, 
for  a  thing  is  at  rest  only  when  it  is  in  its  natural  state. 
Sin  is  a  disease  and  blindness,  for  it  blinds  men  to  the  brief 
duration  of  time,  the  evils  of  fleshly  lust  and  the  long  dura- 
tion of  the  pains  of  hell.  It  is  bluntness  to  all  grace.  Sin 
is  the  prison-house  of  hell.  People  say  they  intend  to  turn 
away  from  their  sins.  But  how  can  one  who  is  dead  make 
himself  alive  again?  And  by  one's  own  powers  to  turn  from 
sin  unto  God  is  much  less  possible  than  it  would  be  for  the 

i  BUttner,  p.  14  ;  Pfeifler,  p.  192,  etc.  2  Pfeifler,  216. 


248  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1204-1617. 

dead  to  make  themselves  alive.  God  himself  must  draw. 
Grace  flows  from  the  Father's  heart  continually,  as  when  He 
says,  "  I  have  loved  thee  with  an  everlasting  love." 

There  are  three  things  in  nature  which  draw,  and  these 
three  Christ  had  on  the  cross.  The  first  was  his  fellow-like- 
ness to  us.  As  the  bird  draws  to  itself  the  bird  of  the  same 
nature,  so  Christ  drew  the  heavenly  Father  to  himself,  so  that 
the  Father  forgot  His  wrath  in  contemplating  the  sufferings 
of  the  cross.  Again  Christ  draws  by  his  self-emptiness.  As 
the  empty  tube  draws  water  into  itself,  so  the  Son,  by  empty- 
ing himself  and  letting  his  blood  flow,  drew  to  himself  all  the 
grace  from  the  Father's  heart.  The  third  thing  by  which  he 
draws  is  the  glowing  heat  of  his  love,  even  as  the  sun  with  its 
heat  draws  up  the  mists  from  the  earth. 

The  historian  of  the  German  mediaeval  pulpit,  Cruel,  has 
said,1  "  Eckart's  sermons  hold  the  reader  by  the  novelty  and 
greatness  of  their  contents,  by  their  vigor  of  expression  and 
by  the  genial  frankness  of  the  preacher  himself,  who  is  felt 
to  be  putting  his  whole  soul  into  his  effort  and  to  be  giving 
the  most  precious  things  he  is  able  to  give."  He  had  his 
faults,  but  in  spite  of  them  "he  is  the  boldest  and  most 
profound  thinker  the  German  pulpit  has  ever  had,  —  a 
preacher  of  such  original  stamp  of  mind  that  the  Church  in 
Germany  has  not  another  like  him  to  offer  in  all  the  centuries." 

ECKABT  AS  A  THEOLOGICAL  THINKER.  —  Eckart  Was  still 

bound  in  part  by  the  scholastic  method.  His  temper,  how- 
ever, differed  widely  from  the  temper  of  the  Schoolmen. 
Anselm,  Hugo  of  St.  Victor,  Thomas  Aquinas  and  Bonaven- 
tura,  who  united  the  mystical  with  the  scholastic  element, 
were  predominantly  Schoolmen,  seeking  to  exhaust  every 
supposable  speculative  problem.  No  purpose  of  this  kind 
appears  in  Eckart's  writings.  He  is  dominated  by  a  desire 
not  so  much  to  reach  the  intellect  as  to  reach  the  soul  and  to 
lead  it  into  immediate  fellowship  with  God.  With  him  the 
weapons  of  metaphysical  dexterity  are  not  on  show;  and  in 
his  writings,  so  far  as  they  are  known,  he  betrays  no  inclina- 
tion to  bring  into  the  area  of  his  treatment  those  remoter 

ip.384. 


§  29.      MBISTEB  ECKART.  249 

topics  of  speculation,  from  the  constitution  of  the  angelic 
world  to  the  motives  and  actions  which  rule  and  prevail  in 
the  regions  of  hell.  God  and  the  soul's  relation  to  Him  are 
the  engrossing  subjects.1 

The  authorities  upon  whom  Eckart  relied  most,  if  we  are 
to  judge  by  his  quotations,  were  Dionysius  the  Areopagite, 
and  St.  Bernard,  though  he  also  quotes  from  Augustine, 
Jerome  and  Gregory  the  Great,  from  Plato,  Avicenna  and 
Averrhoes.  His  discussions  are  often  introduced  by  such  ex- 
pressions as  "  the  masters  say,"  or  "  some  masters  say."  As 
a  mystical  thinker  he  has  much  in  common  with  the  mystics 
who  preceded  him,  Neo-Platonic  and  Christian,  but  he  was 
no  servile  reproducer  of  the  past.  Freshness  characterizes 
his  fundamental  principles  and  his  statement  of  them.  In 
the  place  of  love  for  Jesus,  the  precise  definitions  of  the  stages 
of  contemplation  emphasized  by  the  school  of  St.  Victor  and 
the  hierarchies  and  ladders  and  graduated  stairways  of  Dio- 
nysius, he  magnifies  the  new  birth  in  the  soul,  and  son- 
ship.2 

As  for  God,  He  is  absolute  being,  Deus  est  ease.  The 
Godhood  is  distinct  from  the  persons  of  the  Godhead, — a 
conception  which  recalls  Gilbert  of  Poictiers,  or  even  the  qua- 
ternity  which  Peter  the  Lombard  was  accused  of  setting  up. 

1  Denifle  lays  down  the  proposition  that  Eckart  is  above  all  a  School- 
man, and  that  whatever  there  is  of  good  in  him  is  drawn  from  Thomas 
Aquinas.  These  conclusions  are  based  upon  Eckart 's  Latin  writings.  Deutsch, 
V.  16,  says  that  the  form  of  Eckart's  thought  in  the  Latin  writings  is  scholastic, 
but  the  heart  is  mystical.  Delacroix,  p.  277  sqq.,  denies  that  Eckart  was  a 
scholastic  and  followed  Thomas.  Wetzer-Welte,  IV.  11,  deplores  as  Eckart's 
defect  that  he  departed  from  "  the  solid  theology  of  Scholasticism  "  and  took 
up  Neo-Platonic  vagaries.  If  Eckart  had  been  a  servile  follower  of  Thomas,  it 
is  hard  to  understand  how  he  should  have  laid  himself  open  in  28  propositions 
to  condemnation  for  heresy. 

a  Harnack  and,  in  a  modified  way,  Delacroix  and  Loofs,  regard  Eckart's 
theology  as  a  reproduction  of  Erigena,  Dionysius  and  Plotinus.  Delacroix, 
p.  240,  says,  sur  tous  leapohtfs  esaentiets,  il  est  tfactord  avec  Plotin  et  Pro- 
clus.  But,  in  another  place,  p.  260,  he  says  Eckart  took  from  Neo-Platonism 
certain  leading  conceptions  and  "  elaborated,  transformed  and  transmuted 
them."  Loofs,  p.  680,  somewhat  ambiguously  says,  Die  game  Eckehartsche 
Mystik  i»t  verstSndlich  als  fine  Erfassung  der  thomistischen  und  augus- 
tinischen  Tradition  unter  dem  Gesichtswinkel  des  Areopagtien. 


250  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

The  Trinity  is  the  method  by  which  this  Godhood  reveals 
itself  by  a  process  which  is  eternal.  Godhood  is  simple  es- 
sence having  in  itself  the  potentiality  of  all  things.1  God 
has  form,  and  yet  is  without  form;  is  being,  and  yet  is  without 
being.  Great  teachers  say  that  God  is  above  being.  This  is 
not  correct,  for  God  may  as  little  be  called  a  being,  em  Weaen, 
as  the  sun  may  be  called  black  or  pale.2 

All  created  things  were  created  out  of  nothing,  and  yet  they 
were  eternally  in  God.  The  master  who  produces  pieces  of 
art,  first  had  all  his  art  in  himself.  The  arts  are  master  within 
the  master.  Likewise  the  first  Principle,  which  Eckart  calls 
Erstigkeit,  embodied  in  itself  all  images,  that  is,  God  in  God. 
Creation  is  an  eternal  act.  As  soon  as  God  was,  He  created 
the  world.  Without  creatures,  God  would  riot  be  God.  God 
is  in  all  things  and  all  things  are  God  —  Nu  tint  all  Ding 
ffleich  in  O-ott  und  Bint  Q-ot  selber.*  Thomas  Aquinas  made  a 
clear  distinction  between  the  being  of  God  and  the  being  of 
created  things.  Eckart  emphasized  their  unity.  What  he 
meant  was  that  the  images  or  universals  exist  in  God  eter- 
nally, as  he  distinctly  affirmed  when  he  said,  "  In  the  Father 
are  the  images  of  all  creatures."4 

As  for  the  soul,  it  can  be  as  little  comprehended  in  a  defi- 
nition as  God  Himself.6  The  soul's  kernel,  or  its  ultimate  es- 
sence, is  the  little  spark,  Funkelein,  a  light  which  never  goes 
out,  which  is  uncreated  and  uncreatable.6  Notwithstanding 
these  statements,  the  German  theologian  affirms  that  God 
created  the  soul  and  poured  into  it,  in  the  first  instance,  all 
His  own  purity.  Through  the  spark  the  soul  is  brought  into 
union  with  God,  and  becomes  more  truly  one  with  Him  than 

1  Pfeiffer,  pp.  264,  640. 

2  Pfeiffer,  p.  208.    The  following  passage  is  an  instance  of  Eckart's  ab- 
struseness  in  definition.    He  says  God's  einveltigin  Natur  ist  von  Forme n 
formelos,  von  Werdenen  werdelos,  von  Wetenen  weselos,  und  ist  von  Sachen 
$achelos.    Pfeiffer,  p.  497.  »  Pfeiffer,  pp.  282,  311,  570. 

4  In  dem  Vater  sind  Slide  alter  Creaturen,  Pfeiffer,  pp.  200,  285,  etc. 

6  Die  Seele  in  ihrem  Grande  ist  so  unsprecMich  als  Gott  unsprechltch  int. 
Pfeiffer,  p.  80. 

'  pp.  89, 113, 198, 286,  etc.  Pfleiderer,  p.  0,  calls  this  the  soul's  spirit,  —  der 
Geist  der  Seek,  —  and  Deutsch,  p.  162,  der  innerst  Seelengrund. 


§  29.      MEI8TEB  BCKART.  251 

food  does  with  the  body.  The  soul  cannot  rest  till  it  returns 
to  God,  and  to  do  so  it  must  first  die  to  itself,  that  is,  com- 
pletely submit  itself  to  God.1  Eckart's  aim  in  all  his  sermons, 
as  he  asserts,  was  to  reach  this  spark. 

It  is  one  of  Eckart's  merits  that  he  lays  so  much  stress  upon 
the  dignity  of  the  soul.  Several  of  his  tracts  bear  this  title.3 
This  dignity  follows  from  God's  love  and  regenerative  opera- 
tion. 

Passing  to  the  incarnation,  it  is  everywhere  the  practical 
purpose  which  controls  Eckart's  treatment,  and  not  the  meta- 
physical. The  second  person  of  the  Trinity  took  on  human 
nature,  that  man  might  become  partaker  of  the  divine  nature. 
In  language  such  as  Gregory  of  Nyssa  used,  he  said,  God  be- 
came man  that  we  might  become  God.  Q-ott  ist  Mensch  warden 
das%  wir  Gott  wurden.  As  God  was  hidden  within  the  human 
nature  so  that  we  saw  there  only  man,  so  the  soul  is  to  be 
hidden  within  the  divine  nature,  that  we  should  see  nothing 
but  God.8  As  certainly  as  God  begets  the  Son  from  His  own 
nature,  so  certainly  does  He  beget  Him  in  the  soul.  God  is 
in  all  things,  but  He  is  in  the  soul  alone  by  birth,  and  no- 
where else  is  He  so  truly  as  in  the  soul.  No  one  can  know 
God  but  the  only  begotten  Son.  Therefore,  to  know  God, 
man  must  through  the  eternal  generation  become  Son.  It 
is  as  true  that  man  becomes  God  as  that  God  was  made  man.4 

The  generation  of  the  eternal  Son  in  the  soul  brings  joy 
which  no  man  can  take  away.  A  prince  who  should  lose  his 
kingdom  and  all  worldly  goods  would  still  have  fulness  of 
joy,  for  his  birth  outweighs  everything  else.6  God  is  in  the 
soul,  and  yet  He  is  not  the  soul.  The  eye  is  not  the  piece 
of  wood  upon  which  it  looks,  for  when  the  eye  is  closed,  it  is 
the  same  eye  it  was  before.  But  if,  in  the  act  of  looking,  the 
eye  and  the  wood  should  become  one,  then  we  might  say  the 
eye  is  the  wood  and  the  wood  is  the  eye.  If  the  wood  were 
a  spiritual  substance  like  the  eyesight,  then,  in  reality,  one 

1  pp.  113,  152,  286,  497,  630. 

2  Die  Edelkeit  der  Seele,  Von  der  WHrdigkett  der  Seele,  Von  dem  Adel 
der  Svelc,    Pfeiffer,  pp.  382-448. 

«  p.  640.  «  pp.  168,  207,  286,  846.  •  pp.  44,  478-483. 


252  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

might  say  eye  and  wood  are  one  substance.1  The  fundament 
of  God's  being  is  the  fundament  of  my  being,  and  the  funda- 
ment of  my  being  is  the  fundament  of  God's  being.  Thus  I 
live  of  myself  even  as  God  lives  of  Himself.2  This  beget  men  t 
of  the  Son  of  God  in  the  soul  is  the  source  of  all  true  life  and 
good  works. 

One  of  the  terms  which  Eckart  uses  most  frequently,  to  de- 
note God's  influence  upon  the  soul,  is  durchbrechen,  to  break 
through,  and  his  favorite  word  for  the  activity  of  the  soul,  as 
it  rises  into  union  with  God.  is  AbgeschiedenJieit^  the  soul's 
complete  detachment  of  itself  from  all  that  is  temporal  and 
seen.  Keep  aloof,  abgeschieden,  he  says,  from  men,  from  your- 
self, from  all  that  cumbers.  Bear  God  alone  in  your  hearts, 
and  then  practise  fasting,  vigils  and  prayer,  and  you  will  come 
unto  perfection.  This  Abgeschiedenheit,  total  self -detach- 
ment from  created  things,3  he  says  in  a  sermon  on  the  sub- 
ject, is  "the  one  thing  needful."  After  reading  many  writ- 
ings by  pagan  masters  and  Christian  teachers,  Eckart  came  to 
consider  it  the  highest  of  all  virtues,  —  higher  than  humility, 
higher  even  than  love,  which  Paul  praises  as  the  highest; 
for,  while  love  endures  all  things,  this  quality  is  receptive- 
ness  towards  God.  In  the  person  possessing  this  quality,  the 
worldly  has  nothing  to  correspond  to  itself.  This  is  what 
Paul  had  reference  to  when  he  said,  "I  live  and  yet  not  I, 
for  Christ  liveth  in  me."  God  is  Himself  perfect  Abgeschie- 
denheit. 

In  another  place,  Eckart  says  that  he  who  has  God  in 
his  soul  finds  God  in  all  things,  and  God  appears  to  him  out 
of  all  things.  As  the  thirsty  love  water,  so  that  nothing 
else  tastes  good  to  them,  even  so  it  is  with  the  devoted 
soul.  In  God  and  God  alone  is  it  at  rest.  God  seeks  rest, 
and  He  finds  it  nowhere  but  in  such  a  heart.  To  reach  this 


1  Pfeiffer,  p.  139. 

2  Hier  ist  Gottes  Grund  mein  Grund  und  mein  Grund  Gottes  Grund.    Hier 
lebe  ich  aus  meinem  Eigenen,  wie  Gott  aus  seinem  Eigenen  lebt.    BUttner, 
p.  100. 

8  Lautere,  alles  Erschaffenen  ledige  AbgesMedenheit.    For  the  sermon,  see 
Bttttner,  p.  9  sqq. 


§  29.      MEISTBR  BCKAET.  253 

condition  of  Abgeschiedenheit,  it  is  necessary  for  the  soul 
first  to  meditate  and  form  an  image  of  God,  and  then  to 
allow  itself  to  be  transformed  by  God.1 

What,  then,  some  one  might  say,  is  the  advantage  of  prayer 
and  good  works  ?  In  eternity,  God  saw  every  prayer  and 
every  good  work,  and  knew  which  prayer  He  could  hear. 
Prayers  were  answered  in  eternity.  God  is  unchangeable 
and  cannot  be  moved  by  a  prayer.  It  is  we  who  change 
and  are  moved.  The  sun  shines,  and  gives  pain  or  pleasure 
to  the  eye,  according  as  it  is  weak  or  sound.  The  sun  does 
not  change.  God  rules  differently  in  different  men.  Differ- 
ent kinds  of  dough  are  put  into  the  oven;  the  heat  affects 
them  differently,  and  one  is  taken  out  a  loaf  of  fine  bread, 
and  another  a  loaf  of  common  bread. 

Eckart  is  emphatic  when  he  insists  upon  the  moral  obliga- 
tion resting  on  God  to  operate  in  the  soul  that  is  ready  to 
receive  Him.  God  must  pour  Himself  into  such  a  man's 
being,  as  the  sun  pours  itself  into  the  air  when  it  is  clear  and 
pure.  God  would  be  guilty  of  a  great  wrong  —  Grebrechen 
—  if  He  did  not  confer  a  great  good  upon  him  whom  He 
finds  empty  and  ready  to  receive  Him.  Even  so  Christ  said 
of  Zaccheus,  that  He  must  enter  into  his  house.  God  first 
works  this  state  in  the  soul,  and  He  is  obliged  to  reward  it 
with  the  gift  of  Himself.  "  When  I  am  blessed,  selig^  then 
all  things  are  in  me  and  in  God,  and  where  I  am,  there  is 
God,  and  where  God  is,  there  I  am."2 

Nowhere  does  Eckart  come  to  a  distinct  definition  of  justi- 
fication by  faith,  although  he  frequently  speaks  of  faith  as  a 
heavenly  gift.  On  the  other  hand,  he  gives  no  sign  of  laying 
stress  on  the  penitential  system.  Everywhere  there  are 
symptoms  in  his  writings  that  his  piety  breathed  a  different 
atmosphere  from  the  pure  mediaeval  type.  Holy  living  is 
with  him  the  product  of  holy  being.  One  must  first  be 
righteous  before  he  can  do  righteous  acts.  Works  do  not 
sanctify.  The  righteous  soul  sanctifies  the  works.  So  long 
as  one  does  good  works  for  the  sake  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven 
or  for  the  sake  of  God  or  for  the  sake  of  salvation  or  for  any 

1  Pfeiffer,  II.  484.  a  Pfeiffer,  pp.  27,  32,  479  sq.,  647  sq. 


254  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

external  cause,  he  is  on  the  wrong  path.  Fastings,  vigils, 
asceticisms,  do  not  merit  salvation.1  There  are  places  in 
the  mystic's  writings  where  we  seem  to  hear  Luther  himself 
speaking. 

The  stress  which  Eckart  lays  upon  piety,  as  a  matter  of 
the  heart  and  the  denial  to  good  works  of  meritorious  virtue, 
gave  plausible  ground  for  the  papal  condemnation,  that 
Eckart  set  aside  the  Church's  doctrine  of  penance,  affirming 
that  it  is  not  outward  acts  that  make  good,  but  the  disposition 
of  the  soul  which  God  abidingly  works  in  us.  John  XXII. 
rightly  discerned  the  drift  of  the  mystic's  teaching. 

In  his  treatment  of  Mary  and  Martha,  Eckart  seems  to  make 
a  radical  departure  from  the  mediaeval  doctrine  of  the  superior 
value  of  pure  contemplation.  From  the  time  of  Augustine, 
Rachel  and  Mary  of  Bethany  had  been  regarded  as  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  contemplative  and  higher  life.  In  his  sermon 
on  Mary,  the  German  mystic  affirmed  that  Mary  was  still  at 
school.  Martha  had  learned  and  was  engaged  in  good  works, 
serving  the  Lord.  Mary  was  only  learning.  She  was  striv- 
ing to  be  as  holy  as  her  sister.  Better  to  feed  the  hungry  and 
do  other  works  of  mercy,  he  says,  than  to  have  the  vision  of 
Paul  and  to  sit  still.  After  Christ's  ascension,  Mary  learned 
to  serve  as  fully  as  did  Martha,  for  then  the  Holy  Spirit  was 
poured  out.  One  who  lives  a  truly  contemplative  life  will 
show  it  in  active  works.  A  life  of  mere  contemplation  is  a 
selfish  life.  The  modern  spirit  was  stirring  in  him.  He  saw 
another  ideal  for  life  than  mediaeval  withdrawal  from  the 
world.  The  breath  of  evangelical  freedom  and  joy  is  felt  in 
his  writings.2 

Eckart's  speculative  mind  carried  him  to  the  verge  of  pan- 
theism, and  it  is  not  surprising  that  his  hyperbolical  expres- 
sions subjected  him  to  the  papal  condemnation.  But  his 
pantheism  was  Christian  pantheism,  the  complete  union  of 

1  Pfeiffer,  II.  646,  664,  683,  Niht  endienent  unserin  were  dar  zuo  dass  uns 
Got  iht  gebe  Oder  tuo. 

2  Es  geht  ein  Qeist  evangelischer  Freiheit  durch  Eckart's  Sittenlehre 
welcher  zugleich  ein  Geist  der  Freudigkeit  ist,  Preger,  I.  452.    See  the  sermon 
on  Mary,  Pfeiffer,  pp.  47-63.    Also  pp.  18-21,  607. 


§  29.      MBISTBB  BCKABT.  255 

the  soul  with  God.  It  was  not  absorption  in  the  divine  being 
involving  the  loss  of  individuality,  but  the  reception  of  God- 
hood,  the  original  principle  of  the  Deity.  What  language 
could  better  express  the  idea  that  God  is  everything,  and 
everything  God,  than  these  words,  words  adopted  by  Hegel 
as  a  sort  of  motto:  "  The  eye  with  which  I  see  God  is  the 
same  eye  with  which  God  sees  me.  My  eye  and  God's  eye 
are  the  same,  and  there  is  but  one  sight,  one  apprehension, 
one  love." l  And  yet  such  language,  endangering,  as  it  might 
seem,  the  distinct  personality  of  the  soul,  was  far  better  than 
the  imperative  insistence  laid  by  accredited  Church  teachers 
on  outward  rituals  and  conformity  to  sacramental  rites. 

Harnack  and  others  have  made  the  objection  that  the  Co- 
logne divine  does  not  dwell  upon  the  forgiveness  of  sins.  This 
omission  may  be  overlooked,  when  we  remember  the  promi- 
nence given  in  his  teaching  to  regeneration  and  man's  divine 
sonship.  His  most  notable  departure  from  scholasticism 
consists  in  this,  that  he  did  not  dwell  upon  the  sacraments 
and  the  authority  of  the  Church.  He  addressed  himself  to 
Christian  individuals,  and  showed  concern  for  their  moral  and 
spiritual  well-being.  Abstruse  as  some  of  his  thinking  is, 
there  can  never  be  the  inkling  of  a  thought  that  he  was  set- 
ting forth  abstractions  of  the  school  and  contemplating  mat- 
ters chiefly  with  a  scientific  eye.  He  makes  the  impression 
of  being  moved  by  strict  honesty  of  purpose  to  reach  the 
hearts  of  men.2  His  words  glow  with  the  Minne^  or  love,  of 
which  he  preached  so  often.  In  one  feature,  however,  he 
differed  widely  from  modern  writers  and  preachers.  He  did 
not  dwell  upon  the  historical  Christ.  With  him  Christ  in  us  is 
the  God  in  us,  and  that  is  the  absorbing  topic.  With  all  his 
high  thinking  he  felt  the  limitations  of  human  statement  and, 
counselling  modesty  in  setting  forth  definitions  of  God,  he 

1  Das  Auge  das  da  inne  ich  Gott  sehe,  das  ist  selbe  Auge  da  inne  mich  Gott 
sieht.    Mein  Auge  und  Gottes  Auge,  das  ist  ein  Auge,  und  ein  Erkennen  und 
ein  Gesicht  und  ein  Minnen,  Pfeiffer,  p.  312. 

2  This  is  well  expressed  by  Lasson  in  Ueberweg,  I.  471.    Inge  says,  p.  150, 
Eckart's  transparent  honesty  and  his  great  power  of  thought,  combined  with 
deep  devoutness  and  purity  of  soul,  make  him  one  of  the  most  interesting  fig- 
ures in  the  history  of  Christian  philosophy. 


256  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

said,  "  If  we  would  reach  the  depth  of  God's  nature,  we  must 
humble  ourselves.  He  who  would  know  God  must  first  know 
himself."! 

Not  a  popular  leader,  not  professedly  a  reformer,  this  early 
German  theologian  had  a  mission  in  preparing  the  way  for 
the  Reformation.  The  form  and  contents  of  his  teaching  had 
a  direct  tendency  to  encourage  men  to  turn  away  from  the 
authority  of  the  priesthood  and  ritual  legalism  to  the  realm 
of  inner  experience  for  the  assurance  of  acceptance  with  God. 
Pfleiderer  has  gone  so  far  as  to  say  that  Eckart's  "  is  the  spirit 
of  the  Reformation,  the  spirit  of  Luther,  the  motion  of  whose 
wings  we  already  feel,  distinctly  enough,  in  the  thoughts  of 
his  older  German  fellow-citizen."  2  Although  he  declared  his 
readiness  to  confess  any  heretical  ideas  that  might  have  crept 
into  his  sermons  and  writings,  the  judges  at  Rome  were  right 
in  principle.  Eckart's  spirit  was  heretical,  provoking  revolt 
against  the  authority  of  the  mediaeval  Church  and  a  restate- 
ment of  some  of  the  forgotten  verities  of  the  New  Testament. 

§  30.     John  Tauler  of  Strassburg. 

To  do  Thy  will  is  more  than  praise, 

As  words  are  less  than  deeds ; 
And  simple  trust  can  find  Thy  ways 

We  miss  with  chart  of  creeds. 

—  WHITTIER,  Our  Master. 

Among  the  admirers  of  Eckart,  the  most  distinguished  were 
John  Tauler  and  Heinrich  Suso.  With  them  the  speculative 
element  largely  disappears  and  the  experimental  and  practical 
elements  predominate.  They  emphasized  religion  as  a  matter 
of  experience  and  the  rule  of  conduct.  Without  denying  any 
of  the  teachings  or  sacraments  of  the  Church,  they  made  promi- 
nent immediate  union  with  Christ,  and  dwelt  upon  the  Christian 
graces,  especially  patience,  gentleness  and  humility.  Tauler 
was  a  man  of  sober  mind,  Suso  poetical  and  imaginative. 

1  If  eiffer,  II.  165,  390. 

2  p.  7.     Freger  concludes  his  treatment  of  Eckart  by  saying,  I.  458,  that  it 
was  he  who  really  laid  the  foundations  of  Christian  philosophy.    Er  erst  hat 
die  christliche  Philosophic  eigentlich  begrttndet. 


§  30.      JOHN   TAULER   OF  STRASSBURG.  257 

John  Tauler,  called  doctor  ittuminatus,  was  born  in  Strass- 
burg  about  1300,  and  died  there,  1361.  Referring  to  his  father's 
circumstances,  he  once  said,  "  If,  as  my  father's  son,  I  had  once 
known  what  I  know  now,  I  would  have  lived  from  my  paternal 
inheritance  instead  of  resorting  to  alms." 1  Probably  as  early 
as  1315,  he  entered  the  Dominican  order.  Sometime  before 
1330,  he  went  to  Cologne  to  take  the  usual  three-years'  course 
of  study.  That  he  proceeded  from  there  to  Paris  for  further 
study  is  a  statement  not  borne  out  by  the  evidence.  He, 
however,  made  a  visit  in  the  French  capital  at  one  period  of 
his  career.  Nor  is  there  sufficient  proof  that  he  received  the 
title  doctor  or  master,  although  he  is  usually  called  Dr.  John 
Tauler. 

He  was  in  his  native  city  again  when  it  lay  under  the  in- 
terdict fulminated  against  it  in  1329,  during  the  struggle  be- 
tween John  XXII.  and  Lewis  the  Bavarian.  The  Dominicans 
offered  defiance,  continuing  to  say  masses  till  1339,  when  they 
were  expelled  for  three  years  by  the  city  council.  We  next 
find  Tauler  at  Basel,  where  he  came  into  close  contact  with 
the  Friends  of  God,  and  their  leader,  Henry  of  Nordlingen. 
After  laboring  as  priest  in  Bavaria,  Henry  went  to  the  Swiss 
city,  where  he  was  much  sought  after  as  a  preacher  by  the 
clergy  and  laymen,  men  and  women.  In  1357,  Tauler  was 
in  Cologne,  but  Strassburg  was  the  chief  seat  of  his  activity. 
Among  his  friends  were  Christina  Ebner,  abbess  of  a  convent 
near  Niirnberg,  and  Margaret  Ebner,  a  nun  of  the  Bavarian 
convent  of  Medingen,  women  who  were  mystics  and  recipi- 
ents of  visions.8  -Tauter  died  in  the  guest-chamber  of  a  nun- 
nery in  Strassburg,  of  which  his  sister  was  an  inmate. 

Tauler's  reputation  in  his  own  day  rested  upon  his  power 
as  a  preacher,  and  it  is  probable  that  his  sermons  have  been 

1  Preger,  III.  131.   The  oldest  Strassburg  MS.  entitles  Tauler  erluhtete  beg- 
nodete  Lerer.    See  Schmidt,  p.  169.     Preger,  III.  93,  gives  the  names  of  a 
number  of  persons  by  the  name  of  Taweler,  or  Tawler,  living  in  Strassburg. 

2  Christina  wrote  a  book  entitled  Von  der  Gnaden  Ueberlast,  giving  an  ac- 
count of  the  tense  life  led  by  the  sisters  in  her  convent.  She  declared  that  the 
Holy  Spirit  played  on  Tauler's  heart  as  upon  a  lute,  and  that  it  had  been  re- 
vealed to  her  in  a  vision  that  bis  fervid  tongue  would  set  the  earth  on  fire. 
See  Strauch's  art.  in  Herzog,  V.  129  sq.    Also  Preger,  II.  247-261,  277  sqq. 


258  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

more  widely  read  in  the  Protestant  Church  than  those  of  other 
mediaeval  preachers.  The  reason  for  this  popularity  is  the 
belief  that  the  preacher  was  controlled  by  an  evangelical  spirit 
which  brought  him  into  close  affinity  with  the  views  of  the 
Reformers.  His  sermons,  which  were  delivered  in  German, 
are  plain  statements  of  truth  easily  understood,  and  containing 
little  that  is  allegorical  or  fanciful.  They  attempt  no  display 
of  learning  or  speculative  ingenuity.  When  Tauler  quotes 
from  Augustine,  Gregory  the  Great,  Dionysius,  Anselm  or 
Thomas  Aquinas,  as  he  sometimes  does,  though  not  as  fre- 
quently as  Eckart,  he  does  it  in  an  incidental  way.  His  power 
lay  in  his  familiarity  with  the  Scriptures,  his  knowledge  of 
the  human  heart,  his  simple  style  and  his  own  evident  sin- 
cerity.1 He  was  a  practical  e very-day  preacher,  intent  on 
reaching  men  in  their  various  avocations  and  trials. 

If  we  are  to  follow  the  History  of  Tauler  s  Life  and  Con- 
science,  which  appeared  in  the  first  published  edition  of  his 
works,  1498,  Tauler  underwent  a  remarkable  spiritual  change 
when  he  was  fifty.3  Under  the  influence  of  Nicolas  of  Basel,  a 
Friend  of  God  from  the  Oberland,  he  was  then  led  into  a  higher 
stage  of  Christian  experience.  Already  had  he  achieved  the 
reputation  of  an  effective  preacher  when  Nicolas,  after  hearing 
him  several  times,  told  him  that  he  was  bound  in  the  letter 
and  that,  though  he  preached  sound  doctrine,  he  did  not  feel 
the  power  of  it  himself.  He  called  Tauler  a  Pharisee.  The 
rebuked  man  was  indignant,  but  his  monitor  replied  that  he 
lacked  humility  and  that,  instead  of  seeking  God's  honor,  he 
was  seeking  his  own.  Feeling  the  justice  of  the  criticism, 
Tauler  confessed  he  had  been  told  his  sins  and  faults  for  the 
first  time.  At  Nicolas'  advice  he  desisted  from  preaching 
for  two  years,  and  led  a  retired  life.  At  the  end  of  that  time 
Nicolas  visited  him  again,  and  bade  him  resume  his  sermons. 
Tauler's  first  attempt,  made  in  a  public  place  and  before  a 

1  Specklin,  the  Strassburg  chronicler,  says  Tauler  spoke  '« in  clear  tones, 
with  real  fervor.  His  aim  was  to  bring  men  to  feel  the  nothingness  of  the 
world.  He  condemned  clerics  as  well  as  laymen.11 

3  A  translation  of  the  book  is  given  by  Miss  Winkworth,  pp.  1-73.  It  calls 
Tauler's  monitor  der  groue  Gottesfreund  im  Oberlande.  See  §  32. 


§  30.      JOHN  TAULBB  OF   8TBASSBUBG.  259 

large  concourse  of  people,  was  a  failure.  The  second  sermon 
he  preached  in  a  nunnery  from  the  text,  Matt.  25:  6,  "Behold 
the  bridegroom  cometh,  go  ye  out  to  meet  him,"  and  so  power- 
ful was  the  impression  that  50  persons  fell  to  the  ground  like 
dead  men.  During  the  period  of  his  seclusion,  Tauler  had 
surrendered  himself  entirely  to  God,  and  after  it  he  continued 
to  preach  with  an  unction  and  efficiency  before  unknown  in 
his  experience. 

Some  of  Tauler's  expressions  might  give  the  impression 
that  he  was  addicted  to  quietistic  views,  as  when  he  speaks  of 
being  "  drowned  in  the  Fatherhood  of  God,"  of  "  melting  in 
the  fire  of  His  love,"  of  being  "intoxicated  with  God."  But 
these  tropical  expressions,  used  occasionally,  are  offset  by  the 
sober  statements  in  which  he  portrays  the  soul's  union  with 
God.  To  urge  upon  men  to  surrender  themselves  wholly  to 
God  and  to  give  a  practical  exemplification  of  their  union  with 
Him  in  daily  conduct  was  his  mission. 

He  emphasized  the  agency  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  who  enlightens 
and  sanctifies,  who  rebukes  sin  and  operates  in  the  heart  to 
bring  it  to  self -surrender.1  The  change  effected  by  the  Spirit, 
which  he  called  Kehr  —  conversion  —  he  dwelt  upon  con- 
tinually. The  word,  which  frequently  occurs  in  his  sermons, 
was  almost  a  new  word  in  medieval  sermonic  vocabulary. 
Tauler  also  insisted  upon  the  Eckartian  AbgeBchiedenheit^  de- 
tachment from  the  world,  and  says  that  a  soul,  to  become 
holy,  must  become  "  barren  and  empty  of  all  created  things," 
and  rid  of  all  that  "pertains  to  the  creature."  When  the 
soul  is  full  of  the  creature,  God  must  of  necessity  remain  apart 
from  it,  and  such  a  soul  is  like  a  barrel  that  has  been  filled 
with  refuse  or  decaying  matter.  It  cannot  thereafter  be 
used  for  good,  generous  wine  or  any  other  pure  drink.2 

As  for  good  works,  if  done  apart  from  Christ,  they  are  of 
no  avail.  Tauler  often  quoted  the  words  of  Isaiah  64 : 6. 
"  All  our  righteousnesses  are  as  a  polluted  garment."  By 

1  One  of  the  sermons,  bringing  out  the  influence  of  the  Spirit,  based  on 
John  16 :  7-1 1,  is  quoted  at  length  by  Archdeacon  Hare  in  his  Mission  of  the 
Comforter.  See  also  Miss  Winkwortb,  pp.  350-368, 

9  Inner  Way,  pp.  81, 113, 128,  180. 


260  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

his  own  power,  man  cannot  come  unto  God.  Those  who 
have  never  felt  anxiety  on  account  of  their  sins  are  in  the 
most  dangerous  condition  of  all.1 

The  sacraments  suffer  no  depreciation  at  Tauler's  hands, 
though  they  are  given  a  subordinate  place.  They  are  all 
of  no  avail  without  the  change  of  the  inward  man.  Good 
people  linger  at  the  outward  symbols,  and  fail  to  get  at 
the  inward  truth  symbolized.  Yea,  by  being  unduly  con- 
cerned about  their  movements  in  the  presence  of  the  Lord's 
body,  they  miss  receiving  him  spiritually.  Men  glide,  he 
says,  through  fasting,  prayer,  vigils  and  other  exercises,  and 
take  so  much  delight  in  them  that  God  has  a  very  small 
part  in  their  hearts,  or  no  part  in  them  at  all.3 

In  insisting  upon  the  exercise  of  a  simple  faith,  it  seems 
almost  impossible  to  avoid  the  conclusion  that  Tauler  took 
an  attitude  of  intentional  opposition  to  the  prescient  and  self- 
confident  methods  of  scholasticism.  It  is  better  to  possess 
a  simple  faith  —  einfaltiger  Glaube  —  than  to  vainly  pry  into 
the  secrets  of  God,  asking  questions  about  the  efflux  and  re- 
flux of  the  Aught  and  Nought,  or  about  the  essence  of  the 
soul's  spark.  The  Arians  and  Sabellians  had  a  marvellous 
intellectual  understanding  of  the  Trinity,  and  Solomon  and 
Origen  interested  the  Church  in  a  marvellous  way,  but  what 
became  of  them  we  know  not.  The  chief  thing  is  to  yield 
oneself  to  God's  will  and  to  follow  righteousness  with 
sincerity  of  purpose.  "  Wisdom  is  not  studied  in  Paris,  but 
in  the  sufferings  of  the  Lord,"  Tauler  said.  The  great 
masters  of  Paris  read  large  books,  and  that  is  well.  But 
the  people  who  dwell  in  the  inner  kingdom  of  the  soul 
read  the  true  Book  of  Life.  A  pure  heart  is  the  throne  of 
the  Supreme  Judge,  a  lamp  bearing  the  eternal  light,  a 
treasury  of  divine  riches,  a  storehouse  of  heavenly  sweetness, 
the  sanctuary  of  the  only  begotten  Son.8 

A  distinctly  democratic  element  showed  itself  in  Tauler's 
piety  and  preaching  which  is  very  attractive.  He  put  honor 

i  Mifls  Winkworth,  pp.  853,  475,  etc. 

*  Inner  Way,  p.  200.    Miss  Winkworth,  pp.  845,  860  aqq. 

9  Preger,  III.  182 ;  Misa  Winkworth,  p.  848. 


§  80.      JOHN  TAULBB  OF  8TBASSBUEG.  261 

upon  all  legitimate  toil,  and  praised  good  and  faithful  work 
as  an  expression  of  true  religion.  One,  he  said,  "  can  spin, 
another  can  make  shoes,  and  these  are  the  gifts  of  the  Holy 
Ghost ;  and  I  tell  you  that,  if  I  were  not  a  priest,  I  should 
este'em  it  a  great  gift  to  be  able  to  make  shoes,  and  would 
try  to  make  them  so  well  as  to  become  a  pattern  to  all." 
Fidelity  in  one's  avocation  is  more  than  attendance  upon 
church.  He  spoke  of  a  peasant  whom  he  knew  well  for 
more  than  forty  years.  On  being  asked  whether  he  should 
give  up  his  work  and  go  and  sit  in  church,  the  Lord  replied 
no,  he  should  win  his  bread  by  the  sweat  of  his  brow,  and 
thus  he  would  honor  his  own  precious  blood.  The  sym- 
pathetic element  in  his  piety  excluded  the  hard  spirit  of 
dogmatic  complacency.  "  I  would  rather  bite  my  tongue," 
Tauler  said,  "till  it  bleed,  than  pass  judgment  upon  any 
man.  Judgment  we  should  leave  to  God,  for  out  of  the 
habit  of  sitting  in  judgment  upon  one's  neighbor  grow 
self-satisfaction  and  arrogance,  which  are  of  the  devil."1 

It  was  these  features,  and  especially  Tauler's  insistence 
upon  the  religious  exercises  of  the  soul  and  the  excellency 
of  simple  faith,  that  won  Luther's  praise,  first  in  letters  to 
Lange  and  Spalatin,  written  in  1516.  To  Spalatin  he  wrote 
that  he  had  found  neither  in  the  Latin  nor  German  tongue 
a  more  wholesome  theology  than  Tauler's,  or  one  more  con- 
sonant with  the  Gospel.2 

The  mood  of  the  heretic,  however,  was  furthest  from 
Tauler.  Strassburg  knew  what  heresy  was,  and  had  proved 
her  orthodoxy  by  burning  heretics.  Tauler  was  not  of  their 
number.  He  sought  to  call  a  narrow  circle  away  from  the 
formalities  of  ritual  to  close  communion  with  God,  but  the 
Church  was  to  him  a  holy  mother.  In  his  reverence  for 
the  Virgin,  he  stood  upon  mediaeval  ground.  Preaching  on 

i  Preger,  III.  131 ;  Miss  Winkworth,  p.  355. 

8  Kostlin,  Life  of  M.  Luther,  I.  117  sq.,  126.  Melanchthon,  in  the  Preface 
to  the  Franf.  ed  of  Tauler  said  :  "  Among  the  moderns,  Tauler  is  easily  the 
first.  I  hear,  however,  that  there  are  some  who  dare  to  deny  the  Christian 
teaching  of  this  highly  esteemed  man.19  Beza  was  of  a  different  mind,  and 
called  Tauler  a  visionary.  See  Schmidt,  p.  160.  Preger,  III.  194,  goes  so  far 
as  to  say  that  Tauler  clearly  taught  the  evangelical  doctrine  of  justification. 


262  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

the  Annunciation,  he  said  that  in  her  spirit  was  the  heaven 
of  God,  in  her  soul  His  paradise,  in  her  body  His  palace. 
By  becoming  the  mother  of  Christ,  she  became  the  daughter 
of  the  Father,  the  mother  of  the  Son,  the  Holy  Spirit's  bride. 
She  was  the  second  Eve,  who  restored  all  that  the  first  Eve 
lost,  and  Tauler  does  not  hesitate  to  quote  some  of  Bernard's 
passionate  words  pronouncing  Mary  the  sinner's  mediator 
with  Christ.  He  himself  sought  her  intercession.  If  any 
one  could  have  seen  into  her  heart,  he  said,  he  would  have 
seen  God  in  all  His  glory.1 

Though  he  was  not  altogether  above  the  religious  perver- 
sions of  the  mediaeval  Church,  John  Tauler  has  a  place 
among  the  godly  leaders  of  the  Church  universal,  who  have 
proclaimed  the  virtue  of  simple  faith  and  immediate  commun- 
ion with  God  and  the  excellency  of  the  unostentatious  prac- 
tice of  righteousness  from  day  to  day.  He  was  an  expounder 
of  the  inner  life,  and  strikes  the  chord  of  fellowship  in  all  who 
lay  more  stress  upon  pure  devotion  and  daily  living  than  upon 
ritual  exercises.  A  spirit  congenial  to  his  was  Whittier,  whose 
undemonstrative  piety  poured  itself  out  in  hearty  appreciation 
of  his  unseen  friend  of  the  fourteenth  century.  The  modern 
Friend  represents  the  mysterious  stranger,  who  pointed  out  to 
Tauler  the  better  way,  as  saying  ;  — 

What  hell  may  be,  I  know  not.    This  I  know, 
I  cannot  lose  the  presence  of  the  Lord. 
One  arm,  Humility,  takes  hold  u|>on 
His  dear  humanity ;  the  other,  Love, 
Clasps  His  divinity.    So  where  1  go 
He  goes ;  and  better  fire-walled  hell  with  Him 
Than  golden-gated  Paradise  without. 
Said  Tauler, 

My  prayer  is  answered.    God  hath  sent  the  man, 
Long  sought,  to  teach  me,  by  his  simple  trust, 
Wisdom  the  weary  Schoolmen  never  knew. 

§  31.     Henry  Su*o. 

Henry  Suso,  1295  7-1366,    a    man    of  highly  emotional 
nature,  has  on  the  one  hand  been  treated  as  a  hysterical 
1  Tke  Inner  fTay,  p.  67  Bqq.,  77  sqq. 


§  81.      HENRY  SUSO.  263 

visionary,  and  on  the  other  as  the  author  of  the  most  finished 
product  of  German  mysticism.  Born  on  the  Lake  of  Con- 
stance, and  perhaps  in  Constance  itself,  he  was  of  noble 
parentage,  but  on  the  death  of  his  mother,  abandoned  his 
father's  name,  Berg,  and  adopted  his  mother's  maiden  name, 
Seuse,  Suso  being  the  Latin  form.1  At  thirteen,  he  entered 
the  Dominican  convent  at  Constance,  and  from  his  eighteenth 
year  on  gave  himself  up  to  the  most  exaggerated  and  painful 
asceticisms.  At  twenty-eight,  he  was  studying  at  Cologne, 
and  later  at  Strassburg. 

For  supporting  the  pope  against  Lewis  the  Bavarian,  the 
Dominicans  in  Constance  came  into  disfavor,  and  were  ban- 
ished from  the  city.  Suso  retired  to  Diessehoven,  where  he 
remained,  1339-1346,  serving  as  prior.  During  this  period, 
he  began  to  devote  himself  to  preaching.  The  last  eighteen 
years  of  his  life  were  spent  in  the  Dominican  convent  at 
Ulm,  where  he  died,  Jan.  25,  1366.  He  was  beatified  by 
Gregory  XVI.,  1831. 

Suso's  constitution,  which  was  never  strong,  was  under- 
mined by  the  rigorous  penitential  discipline  to  which  lie 
subjected  himself  for  twenty-two  years.  An  account  of  it 
is  given  in  his  Autobiography.  Its  severity,  so  utterly 
contrary  to  the  spirit  of  our  time,  was  so  excessive  that 
Suso's  statements  seem  at  points  to  be  almost  incredible. 
The  only  justification  for  repeating  some  of  the  details  is  to 
show  the  lengths  to  which  the  penitential  system  of  the 
Medieval  Church  was  carried  by  devotees.  Desiring  to 
carry  the  marks  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  Suso  pricked  into  his  bare 
chest,  with  a  sharp  instrument,  the  monogram  of  Christ, 
IHS.  The  three  letters  remained  engraven  there  till  his 
dying  day  and,  "  Whenever  my  heart  moved,"  as  he  said,  "  the 
name  moved  also."  At  one  time  he  saw  in  a  dream  rays  of 
glory  illuminating  the  scar. 

He  wore  a  hair  shirt  and  an  iron  chain.  The  loss  of  blood 
forced  him  to  put  the  chain  aside,  but  for  the  hair  shirt  he 
substituted  an  undergarment,  studded  with  150  sharp  tacks. 

1  Bihlmeyer,  p.  65,  decides  for  1295  as  the  probable  date  of  Suso's  birth. 
Other  writers  put  it  forward  to  1300. 


264  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

This  he  wore  day  and  night,  its  points  turned  inwards  to- 
wards his  body.  Often,  he  said,  it  made  the  impression  on 
him  as  if  he  were  lying  in  a  nest  of  wasps.  When  he  saw  his 
body  covered  with  vermin,  and  yet  he  did  not  die,  he  exclaimed 
that  the  murderer  puts  to  death  at  one  stroke,  "  but  alas,  O 
tender  God,  —  zarter  Q-ott^  —  what  a  dying  is  this  of  mine  I " 
Yet  this  was  not  enough.  Suso  adopted  the  plan  of  tying 
around  his  neck  a  part  of  his  girdle.  To  this  he  attached 
two  leather  pockets,  into  which  he  thrust  his  hands.  These 
he  made  fast  with  lock  and  key  till  the  next  morning.  This 
kind  of  torture  he  continued  to  practise  for  sixteen  years, 
when  he  abandoned  it  in  obedience  to  a  heavenly  vision. 
How  little  had  the  piety  of  the  Middle  Ages  succeeded  in 
correcting  the  perverted  views  of  the  old  hermits  of  the 
Nitrian  desert,  whose  stories  this  Swiss  monk  was  in  the 
habit  of  reading,  and  whose  austerities  he  emulated ! 

God,  however,  had  not  given  any  intimation  of  disapproval 
of  ascetic  discipline,  and  so  Suso,  in  order  further  to  impress 
upon  his  body  marks  of  godliness,  bound  against  his  back  a 
wooden  cross,  to  which,  in  memory  of  the  30  wounds  of 
Christ,  he  affixed  30  spikes.  On  this  instrument  of  torture 
he  stretched  himself  at  night  for  8  years.  The  last  year 
he  affixed  to  it  7  sharp  needles.  For  a  long  time  he  went 
through  2  penitential  drills  a  day,  beating  with  his  fist  upon 
the  cross  as  it  hung  against  his  back,  while  the  needles  and  nails 
penetrated  into  his  flesh,  and  the  blood  flowed  down  to  his  feet. 
As  if  this  were  not  a  sufficient  imitation  of  the  flagellation 
inflicted  upon  Christ,  he  rubbed  vinegar  and  salt  into  his 
wounds  to  increase  his  agony.  His  feet  became  full  of  sores, 
his  legs  swelled  as  if  he  had  had  the  dropsy,  his  flesh  became 
dry  and  his  hands  trembled  as  if  palsied.  And  all  this,  as  he 
says,  he  endured  out  of  the  great  inner  love  which  he  had  for 
God,  and  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  whose  agonizing  pains  he 
wanted  to  imitate.  For  25  years,  cold  as  the  winter  might  be, 
he  entered  no  room  where  there  was  a  fire,  and  for  the  same 
period  he  abstained  from  all  bathing,  water  baths  or  sweat 
baths — Wasserbad  und  Schweissbad.  But  even  with  this  list  of 
self-mortifications,  Suso  said,  the  whole  of  the  story  was  not  told. 


§  81.      HENRY  8USO,  265 

In  his  fortieth  year,  when  his  physical  organization  had 
been  reduced  to  a  wreck,  so  that  nothing  remained  but  to  die 
or  to  desist  from  the  discipline,  God  revealed  to  him  that  his 
long-practised  austerity  was  only  a  good  beginning,  a  break- 
ing up  of  his  untamed  humanity,  —  Ein  DurMrechen  seines 
ungebrochenen  Menschen, — and  that  thereafter  he  would  have 
to  try  another  way  in  order  to  "get  right."  And  so  he  pro- 
ceeded to  macerations  of  the  inner  man,  and  learned  the  les- 
sons which  asceticisms  of  the  soul  can  impart. 

Suso  nowhere  has  words  of  condemnation  for  such  barbar- 
ous self-imposed  torture,  a  method  of  pleasing  God  which 
the  Reformation  put  aside  in  favor  of  saner  rules  of  piety. 

Other  sufferings  came  upon  Suso,  but  not  of  his  own  in- 
fliction. These  he  bore  with  Christian  submission,  and  the 
evils  involved  he  sought  to  rectify  by  services  rendered  to 
others.  His  sister,  a  nun,  gave  way  to  temptation.  Over- 
coming his  first  feelings  of  indignation,  Suso  went  far  and  near 
in  search  of  her,  and  had  the  joy  of  seeing  her  rescued  to  a 
worthy  life,  and  adorned  with  all  religious  virtues.  Another 
cross  he  had  to  bear  was  the  charge  that  he  was  the  father  of 
an  unborn  child,  a  charge  which  for  a  time  alienated  Henry 
of  Nordlingen  and  other  close  friends.  He  bore  the  insinua- 
tion without  resentment,  and  even  helped  to  maintain  the 
child  after  it  was  born. 

Suso's  chief  writings,  which  abound  in  imagery  and  com- 
parisons drawn  from  nature,  are  an  Autobiography,1  and 
works  on  The  Eternal  Wisdom  —  JZiichlein  von  der  ewigen 
Weisheit  —  and  the  Truth — Suchlein  von  der  Wahrheit.  To 
these  are  to  be  added  his  sermons  and  letters. 

The  Autobiography  came  to  be  preserved  by  chance.  At 
the  request  of  Elsbet  Staglin,  Suso  told  her  a  number  of  his 
experiences.  This  woman,  the  daughter  of  one  of  the  lead- 
ing men  of  Zurich,  was  an  inmate  of  the  convent  of  Tosse, 
near  Winterthur.  When  Suso  discovered  that  she  had  com- 
mitted his  conversations  to  writing,  he  treated  her  act  as  "a 

1  It  contains  68  chapters.  Diepenbrock's  ed. ,  pp.  137-306  ;  Bihlmeyer's  ed. , 
pp.  1-195.  Diepenbrock's  edition  has  the  advantage  for  the  modern  reader 
of  being  transmuted  into  modern  German. 


266  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

spiritual  theft,"  and  burnt  a  part  of  the  manuscript.  The 
remainder  he  preserved,  in  obedience  to  a  supernatural  com- 
munication, and  revised.  Suso  appears  in  the  book  as  "  The 
Servant  of  the  Eternal  Wisdom." 

The  Autobiography  is  a  spiritual  self-revelation  in  which  the 
author  does  not  pretend  to  follow  the  outward  stages  of  his 
career.  In  addition  to  the  facts  of  his  religious  experience, 
he  sets  forth  a  number  of  devotional  rules  containing  much 
wisdom,  and  closes  with  judicious  and  edifying  remarks  on 
the  being  of  God,  which  he  gave  to  Elsbet  in  answer  to  her 
questions.1 

The  Book  of  the  Eternal  Wisdom,  which  is  in  the  form  of 
a  dialogue  between  Christ,  the  Eternal  Wisdom,  and  the 
writer,  has  been  called  by  Denifle,  who  bore  Suso's  name,  the 
consummate  fruit  of  German  mysticism.  It  records,  in  Ger- 
man,2 meditations  in  which  use  is  made  of  the  Scriptures. 
Here  we  have  a  body  of  experimental  theology  such  as  ruled 
among  the  more  pious  spirits  in  the  German  convents  of  the 
fourteenth  century. 

Suso  declares  that  one  who  is  without  love  is  as  unable  to 
understand  a  tongue  that  is  quick  witli  love  as  one  speaking 
in  German  is  unable  to  understand  a  Fleming,  or  as  one  who 
hears  a  report  of  the  music  of  a  harp  is  unable  to  understand 
the  feelings  of  one  who  has  heard  the  music  with  his  own 
ears.  The  Saviour  is  represented  as  saying  that  it  would  be 
easier  to  bring  back  the  years  of  the  past,  revive  the  withered 
flowers  or  collect  all  the  droplets  of  rain  than  to  measure 
the  love —  Minne  —  he  has  for  men. 

The  Servant,  after  lamenting  the  hardness  of  heart  which 
refuses  to  be  moved  by  the  spectacle  of  the  cross  and  the 
love  of  God,  seeks  to  discover  how  it  is  that  God  can  at  once 
be  so  loving  and  so  severe.  As  for  the  pains  of  hell,  the 
lost  are  represented  as  exclaiming,  "  Oh,  how  we  desire  that 

1  A  translation  of  these  definitions  is  given  by  Inge,  in  Light,  Life  and 
Love,  pp.  66-82. 

3  Suso  made  a  revision  of  bis  work  in  Latin  under  the  title  Horologium 
eternal  sapientfa,  a  copy  of  which  Tauler  seems  to  have  had  in  his  possession. 
Preger,  II.  324. 


§  81.      HENRY  SU8O.  267 

there  might  be  a  millstone  as  wide  as  the  earth  and  reaching 
to  all  parts  of  heaven,  and  that  a  little  bird  might  alight  every 
ten  thousand  years  and  peck  away  a  piece  of  stone  as  big  as 
the  tenth  part  of  a  millet  seed  and  continue  to  peck  away 
every  ten  thousandth  year  until  it  had  pecked  away  a  piece 
as  big  as  a  millet  seed,  and  then  go  on  pecking  at  the  same 
rate  until  the  whole  stone  were  pecked  away,  so  only  our 
torture  might  come  to  an  end;  but  that  cannot  be." 

Having  dwelt  upon  the  agony  of  the  cross  and  God's  im- 
measurable love,  the  bliss  of  heaven  and  the  woes  of  hell, 
Suso  proceeds  to  set  forth  the  dignity  of  suffering.  He  had 
said  in  his  Autobiography  that  "  every  lover  is  a  martyr,"  l 
and  here  the  Eternal  Wisdom  declares  that  if  all  hearts  were 
become  one  heart,  that  heart  could  not  bear  the  least  reward 
he  has  chosen  to  give  in  eternity  as  a  compensation  for  the 
least  suffering  endured  out  of  love  for  himself.  .  .  .  This  is 
an  eternal  law  of  nature  that  what  is  true  and  good  must  be 
harvested  with  sorrow.  There  is  nothing  more  joyous  than 
to  have  endured  suffering.  Suffering  is  short  pain  and  pro- 
longed joy.  Suffering  gives  pain  here  and  blessedness  here- 
after. Suffering  destroys  suffering  —  Leiden  todtet  Leiden. 
Suffering  exists  that  the  sufferer  may  not  suffer.  He  who 
could  weigh  time  and  eternity  in  even  balances  would  rather 
lie  in  a  glowing  oven  for  a  hundred  years  than  to  miss  in  eter- 
nity the  least  reward  given  for  the  least  suffering,  for  the  suffer- 
ing in  the  oven  would  have  an  end,  but  the  reward  is  forever. 

After  dwelling  upon  the  advantages  of  contemplation  as 
the  way  of  attaining  to  the  heavenly  life,  the  Eternal  Wisdom 
tells  Suso  how  to  die  both  the  death  of  the  body  and  the  soul; 
namely,  by  penance  and  by  self-detachment  from  all  the  things 
of  the  earth — Entbrechen  von  alien  Dingen.  An  unconverted 
man  is  introduced  in  the  agonies  of  dying.  His  hands  grow 
cold,  his  face  pales,  his  eyes  begin  to  lose  their  sight.  The 
prince  of  terrors  wrestles  with  his  heart  and  deals  it  hard  blows. 
The  chill  sweat  of  death  creeps  over  his  body  and  starts 
haggard  fears.  "  O  angry  countenance  of  the  severe  Judge, 
how  sharp  are  thy  judgments ! "  he  exclaims.  In  imagination, 
i  Bihlmeyer's  ed.,  p.  13. 


268  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

or  with  real  sight,  he  beholds  the  host  of  black  Moors  approach- 
ing to  see  whether  he  belongs  to  them,  and  then  the  beasts  of 
hell  surrounding  him.  He  sees  the  hot  flames  rising  up  above 
the  denizens  of  purgatory,  and  hears  them  cry  out  that  the 
least  of  their  tortures  is  greater  than  the  keenest  suffering 
endured  by  martyr  on  the  earth.  And  that  a  day  there  is  as 
a  hundred  years.  They  exclaim,  "Now  we  roast,  now  we 
simmer  and  now  we  cry  out  in  vain  for  help."  The  dying 
man  then  passes  into  the  other  world,  calling  out  for  help  to 
the  friends  whom  he  had  treated  well  on  the  earth,  but  in  vain. 

The  treatise,  which  closes  with  excellent  admonitions  on  the 
duty  of  praising  God  continually,  makes  a  profound  spiritual 
impression,  but  it  presents  only  one  side  of  the  spiritual  life, 
and  needs  to  be  supplemented  and  expurgated  in  order  to  pre- 
sent a  proper  picture.  Christ  came  into  the  world  that  we 
might  have  everlasting  life  now,  and  that  we  might  have 
abundance  of  life,  and  that  his  joy  might  remain  in  us  and  our 
joy  might  be  full.  The  patient  endurance  of  suffering  puri- 
fies the  soul  and  the  countenance,  but  suffering  is  not  to  be 
counted  as  always  having  a  sanctifying  power,  much  less  is  it 
to  be  courted.  Macerations  have  no  virtue  of  themselves,  and 
patience  in  enduring  pain  is  only  one  of  the  Christian  virtues, 
and  not  their  crown.  Love,  which  is  the  bond  of  perfectness, 
finds  in  a  cheerful  spirit,  in  hearty  human  fellowships  and  in 
well-doing  also,  its  ministries.  The  mediaeval  type  of  piety 
turned  the  earth  into  a  vale  of  tears.  It  was  cloistral.  For 
nearly  30  years,  as  Suso  tells  us,  he  never  once  broke  through 
the  rule  of  silence  at  table.1  Innocent  III.  could  write,  just 
before  becoming  world-ruler,  a  treatise  on  the  contempt  of  the 
world.  The  piety  of  the  modern  Church  is  of  a  cheerful  type, 
and  sees  good  everywhere  in  this  world  which  God  created. 
Suso's  piety  was  what  the  Germans  have  called  the  mysticism 
of  suffering  —  die  Mystik  des  Leidens.  His  way  of  self-in- 
flicted torture  was  the  wrong  way.  In  going,  however,  with 
Suso  we  will  not  fail  to  reach  some  of  the  heights  of  religious 
experience  and  to  find  nearness  to  God. 

Suso  kept  company  with  the  Friends  of  God,  and  acknowl- 

1  Autobiog.,  ch.  XIV,  Bihlmeyer's  ed.,  p.  88. 


§  82.      THE  FKIBNDS  OF  GOD.  269 

edged  his  debt  to  Eckart,  "  the  high  teacher,"  "  his  high  and 
holy  master,"  from  whose  "  sweet  teachings  he  had  taken  deep 
draughts."  As  he  says  in  his  Autobiography ,  he  went  to 
Eckart  in  a  time  of  spiritual  trial,  and  was  helped  by  him  out 
of  the  hell  of  distress  into  which  he  had  fallen.  He  uses  some 
of  Eckart's  distinctive  vocabulary,  and  after  the  Cologne 
mystic's  death,  Suso  saw  him  "  in  exceeding  glory  "  and  was 
admonished  by  him  to  submission.  This  quality  forms  the 
subject  of  Suso's  Book  on  the  Truth^  which  in  part  was  meant 
to  be  a  defence  of  his  spiritual  teacher. 

A  passage  bearing  on  the  soul's  union  with  Christ  will  serve 
as  a  specimen  of  Suso's  tropical  style,  and  may  fitly  close  this 
chapter.  The  soul,  so  the  Swiss  mystic  represents  Christ  as 
saying  — 

"  the  soul  that  would  find  me  in  the  inner  closet  of  a  consecrated  and  self- 
detached  life,  —  abgeschiedenes  Leben,  —  and  would  partake  of  my  sweet- 
ness, must  first  be  purified  from  evil  and  adorned  with  virtues,  be  decked 
with  the  red  roses  of  passionate  love,  with  the  beautiful  violets  of  meek 
submission,  and  must  be  strewn  with  the  white  lilies  of  purity.  It  shall 
embrace  me  with  its  arms,  excluding  all  other  loves,  for  these  I  shun  and 
flee  as  the  bird  does  the  cage.  This  soul  shall  sing  to  me  the  song  of 
Zion,  which  means  passionate  love  combined  with  boundless  praise. 
Then  I  will  embrace  it  and  it  shall  lean  upon  my  heart." 1 

§  32.     The  Friends  of  God. 

The  Friends  of  God  attract  our  interest  both  by  the  sug- 
gestion of  religious  fervor  involved  in  their  name  and  the  re- 
spect with  which  the  prominent  mystics  speak  of  them.  They 
are  frequently  met  within  the  writings  of  Eckart,  Tauler,  Suso, 
and  Ruysbroeck,  as  well  as  in  the  pages  of  other  writers  of  the 
fourteenth  century.  Much  mystery  surrounds  them,  and  ef- 
forts have  failed  to  define  with  precision  their  teachings, 
numbers  and  influence.  The  name  had  been  applied  to  the 
Waldenses,2  but  in  the  fourteenth  century  it  came  to  be  a  des- 
ignation for  coteries  of  pietists  scattered  along  the  Rhine,  from 
Basel  to  Strassburg  and  to  the  Netherlands,  laymen  and 
priests  who  felt  spiritual  longings  the  usual  church  services 
did  not  satisfy.  They  did  not  constitute  an  organized  sect. 

*  Von  der  wigen  Weisheit,  Bihlmeyer's  ed.,  p.  296  sq. 

*  Preger,  111.  870 ;  Strauch,  p.  206. 


270  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

They  were  addicted  to  the  study  of  the  Scriptures,  and  sought 
close  personal  fellowship  with  God.  They  laid  stress  upon 
a  godly  life  and  were  bent  on  the  propagation  of  holiness. 
Their  name  was  derived  from  John  16 :  15,  "  Henceforth  1 
call  you  not  servants,  but  I  have  called  you  friends."  Their 
practices  did  not  involve  a  breach  with  the  Church  and  its 
ordinances.  They  had  no  sympathy  with  heresy,  and  antag- 
onized the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit.  The  little  treatise, 
called  the  Q-erman  Theology,  at  the  outset  marks  the  differ- 
ence between  the  Friends  of  God  and  the  false,  free  spirits, 
especially  the  Beghards.1 

A  letter  written  by  a  Friend  to  another  Friend  2  represents 
as  succinctly  as  any  statement  their  aim  when  it  says,  "  The 
soul  that  loves  God  must  get  away  from  the  world,  from  the 
flesh  and  all  sensual  desires  and  away  from  itself,  that  is,  away 
from  its  own  self-will,  and  thus  does  it  make  ready  to  hear 
the  message  of  the  work  and  ministry  of  love  accomplished 
by  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ."  The  house  which  Rulman  Mers- 
win  founded  in  Strassburg  was  declared  to  be  a  house  of 
refuge  for  honorable  persons,  priests  and  laymen  who,  with 
trust  in  God,  choose  to  flee  the  world  and  seek  to  improve 
their  lives.  The  Friends  of  God  regarded  themselves  as 
holding  the  secret  of  the  Christian  life  and  as  being  the  salt 
of  the  earth,  the  instructors  of  other  men.8 

Among  the  leading  Friends  of  God  were  Henry  of  Nord- 
lingen,  Nicolas  of  Lowen,  Rulman  Merswin  and  "  the  great 
Friend  of  God  from  the  Oberland."  The  personality  of  the 
Friend  of  God  from  the  Oberland  is  one  of  the  most  evasive  in 
the  religious  history  of  the  Middle  Ages.  He  is  presented  as 
a  leader  of  great  personal  power  and  influence,  as  the  man 
who  determined  Tauler's  conversion  and  wrote  a  number  of 
tracts,  and  yet  it  is  doubtful  whether  such  a  personage  ever 
lived.  Rulman  Merswin  affirms  that  he  had  been  widely 
active  between  Basel  and  Strassburg  and  in  the  region  of 
Switzerland,  from  which  he  got  his  name,  the  Oberland.  In 

1  See  Rulman  Merowin's  condemnation  of  the  Beguinea  and  Beghards  in 
the  Nine  Socks,  chs.  XIII.,  XIV.  «  AB  printed  by  Preger,  IIL  417  sq. 

8  See  the  last  chapter  of  R.  Merawin's  Nine  Rock*. 


§  32,      THE  FRIENDS  OF   GOD.  271 

1377,  according  to  the  same  authority,  he  visited  Gregory  XI. 
in  Rome  and,  like  Catherine  of  Siena,  petitioned  the  pontiff 
to  set  his  face  against  the  abuses  of  Christendom.  Rulman 
was  in  correspondence  with  him  for  a  long  period,  and  held 
his  writings  secret  until  within  four  years  of  his  (Rulman's) 
death,  when  he  published  them.  They  were  17  in  number, 
all  of  them  bearing  on  the  nature  and  necessity  of  a  true 
conversion  of  heart.1 

This  mystic  from  the  Oberland,  as  Rulman's  account  goes, 
led  a  life  of  prayer  and  devotion,  and  found  peace,  performed 
miracles  and  had  visions.  He  is  placed  by  Preger  at  the 
side  of  Peter  Waldo  as  one  of  the  most  influential  laymen  of 
the  Middle  Ages,  a  priest,  though  unordained,  of  the  Church. 
After  Rulman's  death,  we  hear  no  more  of  him. 

Rulman  Merswin,  the  editor  of  the  Oberland  prophet's 
writings,  was  born  in  Strassburg,  1307,  and  died  there,  1382. 
He  gave  up  merchandise  and  devoted  himself  wholly  to  a 
religious  life.  He  had  undergone  the  change  of  conversion 
—  Kehr.  For  four  years  he  had  a  hard  struggle  against 
temptations,  and  subjected  himself  to  severe  asceticisms,  but 
was  advised  by  his  confessor,  Tauler,  to  desist,  at  least  for  a 
time.  It  was  towards  the  end  of  this  period  that  he  met  the 
man  from  the  Oberland.  After  his  conversion,  he  purchased 
and  fitted  up  an  old  cloister,  located  on  an  island  near  Strass- 
burg, called  dasgriine  W&rti  to  serve  as  a  refuge  for  clerics  and 
laymen  who  wished  to  follow  the  principles  of  the  Friends  of 
God  and  live  together  for  the  purpose  of  spiritual  culture.  In 
1370,  after  the  death  of  his  wife,  Rulman  himself  became  an 
inmate  of  the  house,  which  was  put  under  the  care  of  the 
Knights  of  St.  John  a  year  later.  Here  he  continued  to  ex- 
hort by  pen  and  word  till  his  death.  He  lies  buried  at  the 
side  of  his  wife  in  Strassburg. 

Merswin's  two  chief  writings  are  entitled  Das  Bannerbiich- 

1  The  two  leading  writings  are  Das  Buck  von  den  zwei  Mannen,  an  account 
of  the  first  five  years  immediately  succeeding  the  author's  con  version,  and  given 
in  Schmidt's  JVic.  von  Basel,  pp.  205-277,  and  Das  Buck  von  denfdnfMannen, 
in  which  the  Oberlander  gives  an  account  of  his  own  life  and  the  lives  of  his 
friends.  For  the  full  list  of  the  writings,  see  Preger,  III.  270  sqq.,  and 
Strauch,  p.  209  sqq. 


272  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

Zein,  the  Banner-book,  and  Das  Such  von  den  neun  Felsen,  the 
Nine  Rocks.  The  former  is  an  exhortation  to  flee  from  the 
banner  of  Lucifer  and  to  gather  under  the  blood-red  banner 
of  Christ.1  The  Nine  Rocks^  written  in  the  form  of  a  dia- 
logue, 1352,  opens  with  a  parable,  describing  innumerable 
fishes  swimming  down  from  the  lakes  among  the  hills  through 
the  streams  in  the  valleys  into  the  deep  sea.  The  author 
then  sees  them  attempting  to  find  their  way  back  to  the  hills. 
These  processes  illustrate  the  career  of  human  souls  depart- 
ing from  God  into  the  world  and  seeking  to  return  to  Him. 
The  author  also  sees  a  "  fearfully  high  mountain,"  on  which 
are  nine  rocks.  The  souls  that  succeed  in  getting  back  to 
the  mountain  are  so  few  that  it  seemed  as  if  only  one  out  of 
every  thousand  reached  it.  He  then  proceeds  to  set  forth 
the  condition  of  the  eminent  of  the  earth,  popes  and  kings, 
cardinals  and  princes;  and  also  priests,  monks  and  nuns,  Be- 
guines  and  Beghards,  and  people  of  all  sorts  and  classes. 
He  finds  the  conditions  very  bad,  and  is  specially  severe  on 
women  who,  by  their  show  of  dress  and  by  their  manners,  are 
responsible  for  men  going  morally  astray  and  falling  into  sin. 
Many  of  these  women  commit  a  hundred  mortal  sins  a  day. 

Rulman  then  returns  to  the  nine  rocks,  which  represent  the 
nine  stages  of  progress  towards  the  source  of  our  being,  God. 
Those  who  are  on  the  rocks  have  escaped  the  devil's  net,  and 
by  climbing  on  up  to  the  last  rock,  they  reach  perfection. 
Those  on  the  fifth  rock  have  gained  the  point  where  they 
have  completely  given  up  their  own  self-will.  The  sixth 
rock  represents  full  submission  to  God.  On  the  ninth  the 
number  is  so  small  that  there  seemed  to  be  only  three  persons 
on  it.  These  have  no  desire  whatever  except  to  honor  God, 
fear  not  hell  nor  purgatory,  nor  enemy  nor  death  nor  life. 

The  Friends  of  God,  who  are  bent  on  something  more  than 
their  own  salvation,  are  depicted  in  the  valley  below,  striv- 
ing to  rescue  souls  from  the  net  in  which  they  have  been 
ensnared.  The  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit  resist  this  merci- 
ful procedure. 

1  See  Preger,  III.  340  sqq.  C.  Schmidt  gives  the  text,  as  does  also  Diepen- 
brook,  H.  Su*o,  pp.  505-672. 


§  83.      JOHN  OF  BUYSBROBCK.  273 

The  presentation  is  crude,  and  Scripture  is  not  directly 
quoted.  The  biblical  imagery,  however,  abounds,  and,  as 
in  the  case  of  the  ancient  allegory  of  Hermas,  the  principles 
of  the  Gospel  are  set  forth  in  a  way  adapted,  no  doubt,  to 
reach  a  certain  class  of  minds,  even  as  in  these  modern  days 
the  methods  of  the  Salvation  Army  appeal  to  many  for 
whom  the  discourses  of  Bernard  or  Gerson  might  have  little 
meaning.1 

Rulman  Merswin  is  regarded  by  Denifle,  Strauch  and  other 
critics  as  the  author  of  the  works  ascribed  to  the  Friend  of 
God  from  the  Oberland,  and  the  inventor  of  this  fictitious 
personage.3  The  reason  for  this  view  is  that  no  one  else 
knows  of  the  Oberlander  and  that,  after  Rulman's  death, 
attempts  on  the  part  of  the  Strassburg  brotherhood  to  find 
him,  or  to  find  out  something  about  him,  resulted  in  failure. 
On  the  other  hand,  it  is  difficult  to  understand  why  Rulman 
did  not  continue  to  keep  his  writings  secret  till  after  his  own 
death,  if  the  Oberlander  was  a  fictitious  character.8 

Whatever  may  be  the  outcome  of  the  discussion  over  the 
historic  personality  of  the  man  from  the  Oberland,  we  have 
in  the  writings  of  these  two  men  a  witness  to  the  part  lay- 
men were  taking  in  the  affairs  of  the  Church. 

§  33.     John  of  Ruysbroeck. 

Independent  of  the  Friends  of  God,  and  yet  closely  allied 
with  them  in  spirit,  was  Jan  von  Ruysbroeck,  1293-1381. 
In  1350,  he  sent  to  the  Friends  in  Strassburg  his  Adorn- 
ment of  the  Spiritual  Marriage  —  Chierheit  der  gheesteleker 

1  Strauch,  p.  208,  and  others  regard  Merswin's  works  as  in  large  part 
compilations  from  Tauler  and  other  writers.  Strauch  pronounces  their 
contents  garrulous  —  geschwatzig.  The  Nine  Rocks  used  to  be  printed 
with  Suso's  works.  Merswin's  authorship  was  established  by  Schmidt. 

a  Rulman  hat  den  Qottesfreund  einfach  erfunden.    Strauch,  p.  217. 

1  Preger  and  Schmidt  are  the  chief  spokesmen  for  the  historic  personality 
of  the  man  from  the  Oberland.  Rieder  has  recently  relieved  Rulman  from 
the  stain  of  forgery,  and  placed  the  responsibility  upon  Nicolas  of  Lowen, 
who  entered  das  griine  Wort  in  1306.  The  palaeographic  consideration  is 
emphasized,  that  is,  the  resemblance  between  Nicolas1  handwriting  and  the 
script  of  the  reputed  Oberlander. 


274  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Brulockb.  He  forms  a  connecting  link  between  them  and 
the  Brothers  of  the  Common  Life.  The  founder  of  the  lat- 
ter brotherhood,  de  Groote,  and  also  Tauler,  visited  him. 
He  was  probably  acquainted  with  Eckart's  writings,  which 
were  current  in  the  Lowlands.1 

The  Flemish  mystic  was  born  in  a  village  of  the  same  name 
near  Brussels,  and  became  vicar  of  St.  Gudula  in  that  city. 
At  sixty  he  abandoned  the  secular  priesthood  and  put  on  the 
monastic  habit,  identifying  himself  with  the  recently  estab- 
lished Augustinian  convent  Groenendal,  —  Green  Valley,  — 
located  near  Waterloo.  Here  he  was  made  prior.  Ruys- 
broeck  spent  most  of  his  time  in  contemplation,  though  he 
was  not  indifferent  to  practical  duties.  On  his  walks  through 
the  woods  of  Soignes,  he  believed  he  saw  visions  and  he  was 
otherwise  the  subject  of  revelations.  He  was  not  a  man  of  the 
schools.  Soon  after  his  death,  a  fellow- Augustinian  wrote 
his  biography,  which  abounds  in  the  miraculous  element. 
The  very  trees  under  which  he  sat  were  illuminated  with  an 
aureole.  At  his  passing  away,  the  bells  of  the  convent  rang 
without  hands  touching  them,  and  perfume  proceeded  from 
his  dead  body. 

The  title,  doctor  ecstaticus,  which  at  an  early  period  was 
associated  with  Ruysbroeck,  well  names  his  characteristic 
trait.  He  did  not  speculate  upon  the  remote  theological 
themes  of  God's  being  as  did  Eckart,  nor  was  he  a  popular 
preacher  of  every-day  Christian  living,  like  Tauler.  He 
was  a  master  of  the  contemplative  habit,  and  mused  upon 
the  soul's  experiences  in  its  states  of  partial  or  complete 
union  with  God.  His  writings,  composed  in  his  mother- 
tongue,  were  translated  into  Latin  by  his  pupils,  Groote  and 

1  The  extent  to  which  Eckart  influenced  the  mystics  of  the  Lowlands  is  a 
matter  of  dispute.  The  clergy  strove  to  keep  his  works  from  circulation. 
Langenberg,  p.  181,  quotes  Gerherd  Zerbold  von  ZUtphen's,  d.  1398,  tract,  De 
libris  Teutonicalibus,  which  takes  the  position  that,  while  wholesome  books 
might  be  read  in  the  vulgar  tongue,  Eckart's  works  and  sermons  were  ex- 
ceedingly pernicious,  and  not  to  be  read  by  the  laity.  Langenberg,  pp.  184-204, 
gives  descriptions  and  excerpts  from  four  MSS.  of  Eckart's  writings  in  Low 
German,  copied  in  the  convent  of  Nazareth,  near  Bredevoorde,  and  now  pre- 
served in  the  royal  library  of  Berlin,  but  they  do  not  give  Eckart  as  the 
author. 


§  33.      JOHN   OF  RUY8BEOBCK.  275 

William  Jordaens.  The  chief  products  of  his  pen  are  the 
Adornment  of  the  Spiritual  Marriage,  the  Mirror  of  Blessed- 
ness and  Samuel,  which  is  a  defence  of  the  habit  of  contem- 
plation, and  the  Glistening  Stone,  an  allegorical  meditation 
on  the  white  stone  of  Rev.  2  : 17,  which  is  interpreted  to 
mean  Christ. 

Ruysbroeck  laid  stress  upon  ascetic  exercises,  but  more 
upon  love.  In  its  highest  stages  of  spiritual  life,  the  soul 
comes  to  God  "without  an  intermediary."  The  name  and 
work  of  Christ  are  dwelt  upon  on  every  page.  He  is  our 
canon,  our  breviary,  our  every-day  book,  and  belongs  to 
laity  and  clergy  alike.  He  was  concerned  to  have  it  under- 
stood that  he  has  no  sympathy  with  pantheism,  and  opposed 
the  heretical  views  of  the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit  and 
the  Beghards.  He  speaks  of  four  sorts  of  heretics,  the  marks 
of  one  of  them  being  that  they  despise  the  ordinances  and 
sacraments  of  the  Catholic  Church,  the  Scriptures  and  the 
sufferings  of  Christ,  and  set  themselves  above  God  himself. 
He,  however,  did  not  escape  the  charge  of  heresy.  Gerson, 
who  received  a  copy  of  the  Spiritual  Marriage  from  a  Car- 
thusian monk  of  Bruges,  found  the  third  book  teaching 
pantheism,  and  wrote  a  tract  in  which  he  complained  that 
the  author,  whom  he  pronounced  an  unlearned  man,  followed 
his  feelings  in  setting  forth  the  secrets  of  the  religious  life. 
Gerson  was,  however,  persuaded  that  he  had  made  a  mistake 
by  the  defence  written  by  John  of  Schoenhofen,  one  of  the 
brethren  of  Groenendal.  However,  in  his  reply  written  1408, 
he  again  emphasized  that  Ruysbroeck  was  a  man  without 
learning,  and  complained  that  he  had  not  made  his  meaning 
sufficiently  clear.1 

The  Spiritual  Marriage,  Ruysbroeck's  chief  contribution 
to  mystical  literature,  is  a  meditation  upon  the  words  of  the 
parable,  "  Behold,  the  bridegroom  cometh,  go  ye  out  to  meet 
him."  It  sets  forth  three  stages  of  Christian  experience,  the 

1  Engelhardt,  pp.  265-297,  gives  a  full  statement  of  the  controversy.  For 
Gerson's  letters  to  Bartholomew  and  Schoenhofen  and  Schoenhofen's  letter, 
see  Du  Pin,  Works  of  Gerson,  pp.  29-82.  Maeterlinck,  p.  4,  refers  to  the 
difficulty  certain  passages  in  Ruysbroeck's  writings  offer  to  the  interpreter. 


276  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

active,  the  inner  and  the  contemplative.  In  the  active  stage 
the  soul  adopts  the  Christian  virtues  and  practises  them,  fight- 
ing against  sin,  and  thus  it  goes  out "  to  meet  the  bridegroom." 
We  must  believe  the  articles  of  the  Creed,  but  not  seek  to  fully 
understand  them.  And  the  more  subtle  doctrines  of  the  Scrip- 
ture we  should  accept  and  explain  as  they  are  interpreted  by 
the  life  of  Christ  and  the  lives  of  his  saints.  Man  should  study 
nature,  the  Scriptures  and  all  created  things,  and  draw  from 
them  profit.  To  understand  Christ  he  must,  like  Zaccheus, 
run  ahead  of  all  the  manifestations  of  the  creature  world,  and 
climb  up  the  tree  of  faith,  which  has  twelve  branches,  the 
twelve  articles  of  the  Creed. 

As  for  the  inner  life,  it  is  distinguished  from  the  active  by 
devotion  to  the  original  Cause  and  to  truth  itself  as  against 
devotion  to  exercises  and  forms,  to  the  celebration  of  the 
sacrament  and  to  good  works.  Here  the  soul  separates  itself 
from  outward  relations  and  created  forms,  and  contemplates 
the  eternal  love  of  God.  Asceticism  may  still  be  useful,  but 
it  is  not  essential. 

The  contemplative  stage  few  reach.  Here  the  soul  is  trans- 
ferred into  a  purity  and  brightness  which  is  above  all  natural 
intelligence.  It  is  a  peculiar  adornment  and  a  heavenly 
crown.  No  one  can  reach  it  by  learning  and  intellectual 
subtlety  nor  by  disciplinary  exercises.  In  order  to  attain  to 
it,  three  things  are  essential.  A  man  must  live  virtuously; 
he  must,  like  a  fire  that  never  goes  out,  love  God  constantly, 
and  he  must  lose  himself  in  the  darkness  in  which  men  of  the 
contemplative  habit  no  longer  find  their  way  by  the  methods 
known  to  the  creature.  In  the  abyss  of  this  darkness  a  light 
incomprehensible  is  begotten,  the  Son  of  God,  in  whom  we 
44  see  eternal  life." 

At  last  the  soul  comes  into  essential  unity  with  God,  and, 
in  the  fathomless  ocean  of  this  unity,  all  things  are  seized 
with  bliss.  It  is  the  dark  quiet  in  which  all  who  love  God 
lose  themselves.  Here  they  swim  in  the  wild  waves  of  the 
ocean  of  God's  being.1 

1 1  have  followed  the  German  text  given  by  Lambert,  pp.  3-160.  Selec- 
tions, well  translated  into  English,  are  given  in  Light,  Life  and  Love. 


§  33.      JOHN   OF  BUY8BBOECK.  277 

He  who  would  follow  the  Flemish  mystic  in  these  utter- 
ances must  have  his  spirit.  They  seem  far  removed  from  the 
calm  faith  which  leaves  even  the  description  of  such  ecstatic 
states  to  the  future,  and  is  content  with  doing  the  will  of  God 
in  the  daily  avocations  of  this  earthly  life.  Expressions  he 
uses,  such  as  "  spiritual  intoxication,"  *  are  not  safe,  and  the 
experiences  he  describes  are,  as  he  declares,  not  intended  for 
the  body  of  Christian  people  to  reach  here  below.  In  most 
men  they  would  take  the  forms  of  spiritual  hysteria  and  the 
hallucinations  of  hazy  self -consciousness.  It  is  well  that  Ruys- 
broeck's  greatest  pupil,  de  Groote,  did  not  follow  along  this 
line  of  meditation,  but  devoted  himself  to  practical  questions 
of  every-day  living  and  works  of  philanthropy.  The  ecstatic 
mood  is  characteristic  of  this  mystic  in  the  secluded  home  in 
Brabant,  but  it  is  not  the  essential  element  in  his  religious 
thought.  His  descriptions  of  Christ  and  his  work  leave  little 
to  be  desired.  He  does  not  dwell  upon  Mary,  or  even  men- 
tion her  in  his  chief  work.  He  insists  upon  the  works  which 
proceed  from  genuine  love  to  God.  The  chapter  may  be 
closed  with  two  quotations :  — 

"  Even  devotion  must  give  way  to  a  work  of  love  to  the  spiritual  and 
to  the  physical  man.  For  even  should  one  rise  in  prayer  higher  than 
Peter  or  Paul,  and  hear  that  a  poor  man  needed  a  drink  of  water,  he 
would  have  to  cease  from  the  devotional  exercise,  sweet  though  it  were, 
and  do  the  deed  of  love.  It  is  well  pleasing  to  God  that  we  leave  Him 
in  order  to  help  His  members.  In  this  sense  the  Apostle  was  willing  to 
be  banished  from  Christ  for  his  brethren's  sake." 

"  Always  before  thou  retire  at  night,  read  three  books,  which  thou 
oughtest  always  to  have  with  thee.  The  first  is  an  old,  gray,  ugly  volume, 
written  over  with  black  ink.  The  second  is  white  and  beautifully  written 
in  red,  and  the  third  in  glittering  gold  letters.  First  read  the  old  volume. 
That  means,  consider  thine  own  past  life,  which  is  full  of  sins  and  errors, 
as  are  the  lives  of  all  men.  Retire  within  thyself  and  read  the  book  of 
conscience,  which  will  be  thrown  open  at  the  last  judgment  of  Christ. 
Think  over  how  badly  thou  bast  lived,  how  negligent  thou  hast  been  in 
thy  words,  deeds,  wishes  and  thoughts.  Cast  down  thy  eyes  and  cry, 
*  God  be  merciful  to  me  a  sinner/  Then  God  will  drive  away  fear  and 
anxious  concern  and  will  give  thee  hope  and  faith.  Then  lay  the  old 
book  aside  and  go  and  fetch  from  memory  the  white  book.  This  is  the 

i  See  Lambert,  pp.  62,  63,  etc. 


278  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

guileless  life  of  Christ,  whose  soul  was  pure  and  whose  guileless  body 
was  bruised  with  stripes  and  marked  with  rose-red,  precious  blood.  These 
are  the  letters  which  show  his  real  love  to  us.  Look  at  them  with  deep 
emotion  and  thank  him  that,  by  his  death,  he  has  opened  to  thee  the  gate 
of  heaven.  And  finally  lift  up  thine  eyes  on  high  and  read  the  third  book, 
written  in  golden  script ;  that  is,  consider  the  glory  of  the  life  eternal,  in 
comparison  with  which  the  earthly  vanishes  away  as  the  light  of  the 
candle  before  the  splendor  of  the  sun  at  midday/'1 

§  34.    Gerrit  de  Groote  and  the  Brothers  of  the  Common  Life. 

It  was  fortunate  for  the  progress  of  religion,  that  mysticism 
in  Holland  and  Northwestern  Germany  did  not  confine  itself 
to  the  channel  into  which  it  had  run  at  Groenendal.  In  the 
latter  part  of  the  fourteenth  century,  and  before  Ruysbroeck's 
death,  it  associated  with  itself  practical  philanthropic  ac- 
tivities under  the  leadership  of  Gerrit  Groote,  1340-1384, 
and  Florentius  Radewyn,  1350-1400,  who  had  finished  his 
studies  in  Prag.  They  were  the  founders  of  the  Windesheim 
Congregation  and  the  genial  company  known  as  the  Brothers 
of  the  Common  Life,  called  also  the  Brothers  of  the  New 
Devotion.  To  the  effort  to  attain  to  union  with  God  they 
gave  a  new  impulse  by  insisting  that  men  imitate  the  conduct 
of  Christ.2  Originating  in  Holland,  they  spread  along  the 
Rhine  and  into  Central  Germany. 

Groote  was  born  at  Deventer,  where  his  father  had  been 
burgomaster.  After  studying  at  Paris,  he  taught  at  Cologne, 
and  received  the  appointment  of  canon,  enjoying  at  least  two 
church  livings,  one  at  Utrecht  and  one  at  Aachen.  He  lived 
the  life  of  a  man  of  the  world  until  he  experienced  a  sudden 
conversion  through  the  influence  of  a  friend,  Henry  of  Kolcar, 
a  Carthusian  prior.  He  renounced  his  ecclesiastical  liv- 
ings and  visited  Ruysbroeck,  being  much  influenced  by  him. 
Thomas  a  Kempis  remarks  that  Groote  could  say,  after  his 

i  Quoted  by  Oalle,  pp.  184-224. 

9  See  Grube,  Gerh.  Groat,  p.  9  ;  Langenberg,  p.  iz ;  Pastor,  I.  160.  The 
Latin  titles  of  the  brotherhood  were  fratres  vitas  communis,  fratres  modernas 
devotionis,  fratres  bonce  voluntatis,  with  reference  to  Luke  11: 14,  and  fratres 
collationarii  with  reference  to  their  habit  of  preaching.  Groote's  name  to 
spelled  Geert  de  Groote,  Gherd  de  Groet  (Langenberg,  p.  3),  Gerhard  Groot 
(Grube),  etc. 


§   84.      GEEKIT  DB  GROOTE.  279 

visits  to  Ruysbroeck,  "Thy  wisdom  and  knowledge  are 
greater  than  the  report  which  I  heard  in  my  own  country." 

At  forty  he  began  preaching.  Throngs  gathered  to  hear 
him  in  the  churches  and  churchyards  of  Deventer,  Zwolle, 
Leyden  and  other  chief  towns  of  the  Lowlands.1  Often  he 
preached  three  times  a  day.  His  success  stirred  up  the  Fran- 
ciscans, who  secured  from  the  bishop  of  Utrecht  an  inhibition 
of  preaching  by  laymen.  Groote  came  under  this  restric- 
tion, as  he  was  not  ordained.  An  appeal  was  made  to  Urban 
VI.,  but  the  pope  put  himself  on  the  side  of  the  bishop. 
Groote  died  in  1384,  before  the  decision  was  known. 

Groote  strongly  denounced  the  low  morals  of  the  clergy, 
but  seems  not  to  have  opposed  any  of  the  doctrines  of  the 
Church.  He  fasted,  attended  mass,  laid  stress  upon  prayer 
and  alms,  and  enforced  these  lessons  by  his  own  life.  To 
quote  an  old  writer,  he  taught  by  living  righteously  — 
docuit  sancte  vivendo.  In  1374,  he  gave  the  house  he  had 
inherited  from  his  father  at  Deventer  as  a  home  for  widows 
and  unmarried  women.  Without  taking  vows,  the  inmates 
were  afforded  an  opportunity  of  retirement  and  a  life  of 
religious  devotion  and  good  works.  They  were  to  support 
themselves  by  weaving,  spinning,  sewing,  nursing  and  caring 
for  the  sick.  They  were  at  liberty  to  leave  the  community 
whenever  they  chose.  John  Brinkerinck  further  developed 
the  idea  of  the  female  community. 

The  origin  of  the  Brothers  of  the  Common  Life  was  on  this 
wise.  After  the  inhibition  of  lay  preaching,  Groote  settled 
down  at  Deventer,  spending  much  time  in  the  house  of  Floren- 
tius  Radewyn.  He  had  employed  young  priests  to  copy  manu- 
scripts. At  Radewyn's  suggestion  they  were  united  into  a 
community,  and  agreed  to  throw  their  earnings  into  a  com- 

1  The  title,  hammer  of  the  heretics,  —  malleus  hereticorum,  —  was  applied 
to  him  for  his  defence  of  the  orthodox  teaching.  For  the  application  of  this 
expression,  see  Hanson,  Gesch.  des  Hexenwahns,  p.  301.  On  Groote's  fame 
as  a  preacher,  see  Grube,  p.  14  sqq.,  23.  Thomas  a  Kempis  vouches  for 
Groote's  popularity  as  a  preacher.  See  Kettlewell,  I.  130-134.  Among  his 
published  sermons  is  one  against  the  concubinage  of  the  clergy  —  defocaristis. 
For  a  list  of  his  printed  discourses,  see  Herzog,  VII.,  692  sqq.,  and  Langen- 
toerg,  p.  36  sqq. 


280  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1204-1617. 

mon  fund.  After  Groote's  death,  the  community  received  a 
more  distinct  organization  through  Radewyn.  Other  societies 
were  established  after  the  model  of  the  Deventer  house,  which 
was  called  "the  rich  brother  house,"  —  het  rijke  fraterhuis, — 
as  at  Zwolle,  Delft,  Liege,  Ghent,  Cologne,  Miinster,  Marburg 
and  Rostock,  many  of  them  continuing  strong  till  the  Refor- 
mation.1 

A  second  branch  from  the  same  stock,  the  canons  Regular 
of  St.  Augustine,  established  by  the  influence  of  Radewyn 
and  other  friends  and  pupils  of  Groote,  had  as  their  chief 
houses  Windesheim,  dedicated  1387,  and  Mt.  St.  Agnes, 
near  Zwolle.  These  labored  more  within  the  convent,  the 
Brothers  of  the  Common  Life  outside  of  it. 

The  Brotherhood  of  the  Common  Life  never  reached  the 
position  of  an  order  sanctioned  by  Church  authority.  Its 
members,  including  laymen  as  well  as  clerics,  took  no  irrevo- 
cable vow,  and  were  at  liberty  to  withdraw  when  they  pleased. 
They  were  opposed  to  the  Brethren  of  the  Free  Spirit,  and  were 
free  from  charges  of  looseness  in  morals  and  doctrine.  Like 
their  founder,  they  renounced  worldly  goods  and  remained 
unmarried.  They  supported  the  houses  by  their  own  toil.2 

To  gardening,  making  clothes  and  other  occupations  per- 
taining to  the  daily  life,  they  added  preaching,  conducting 
schools  and  copying  manuscripts.  Groote  was  an  ardent 
lover  of  books,  and  had  many  manuscripts  copied  for  his 
library.  Among  these  master  copyists  was  Thomas  a  Kempis. 
Classical  authors  as  well  as  writings  of  the  Fathers  and  books 
of  Scripture  were  transcribed.  Selections  were  also  made 
from  these  authors  in  distinct  volumes,  called  ripiaria — little 
river  banks.  At  Liege  they  were  so  diligent  as  copyists  as 
to  receive  the  name  Breeders  van  de  penne.  Brothers  of  the 
Quill.  Of  Groote,  Thomas  a  Kempis  reports  that  he  had  a 

1  See  Grube,  p.  88,  and  Schulze,  p.  402  sqq.,  who  gives  a  succinct  history 
of  18  German  houses  and  20  houses  in  tfrb  Lowlands.  The  last  to  be  estab- 
lished was  at  Cambray,  1505. 

3  Writing  of  Radewyn,  Thomas  a  Kempis,  Vita  Florentii,  ch.  XIV.,  says 
that  work  was  most  profitable  to  spiritual  advancement,  and  adapted  to  hold 
in  check  the  lusts  of  the  flesh.  One  brother  who  was  found  after  hit  death 
to  be  in  possession  of  some  money,  was  denied  prayer  at  his  burial. 


§  34.      GBKRIT  DE  GROOTE.  281 

chest  filled  with  the  best  books  standing  near  his  dining 
table,  so  that,  if  a  course  did  not  please  him,  he  might  reach 
over  to  them  and  give  his  friends  a  cup  for  their  souls.  He 
carried  books  about  with  him  on  his  preaching  tours.  Ob- 
jection was  here  and  there  made  to  the  possession  of  so 
many  books,  where  they  might  have  been  sold  and  the  pro- 
ceeds given  to  the  poor.1  Translations  also  were  made  of  the 
books  of  Scripture  and  other  works.  Groote  translated  the 
Seven  Penitential  Psalms,  the  Office  for  the  Dead  and  certain 
Devotions  to  Mary.  The  houses  were  not  slow  in  adopting 
type,  and  printing  establishments  are  mentioned  in  connec- 
tion with  Maryvale,  near  Geissenheim,  Windesheim,  Her- 
zogenbusch,  Rostock,  Louvaine  and  other  houses. 

The  schools  conducted  by  the  Brothers  of  the  Common 
Life,  intended  primarily  for  clerics,  have  a  distinguished 
place  in  the  history  of  education.  Seldom,  if  ever  before, 
had  so  much  attention  been  paid  to  the  intellectual  and  moral 
training  of  youth.  Not  only  did  the  Brothers  have  their  own 
schools.  They  labored  also  in  schools  already  established. 
Long  lists  of  the  teachers  are  still  extant.  Their  school  at 
Herzogenbusch  had  at  one  time  1200  scholars,  and  put  Greek 
into  its  course  at  its  very  start,  1424.  The  school  at  Liege 
in  1524  had  1600  scholars.2  The  school  at  De venter  ac- 
quired a  place  among  the  notable  grammar  schools  of  history, 
and  trained  Nicolas  of  Cusa,  Thomas  a  Kempis,  John  Wessel 
and  Erasmus,  who  became  an  inmate  of  the  institution,  1474, 
and  learned  Greek  from  one  of  its  teachers,  Synthis.  Making 
the  mother-tongue  the  chief  vehicle  of  education,  these  schools 
sent  out  the  men  who  are  the  fathers  of  the  modern  literature 
of  Northwestern  Germany  and  the  Lowlands,  and  prepared 
the  soil  for  the  coming  Reformation. 

Scarcely  less  influential  was  the  public  preaching  of  the 
Brethren  in  the  vernacular,  and  the  collations,  or  expositions 

1  Uhlhorn,  p.  378,  gives  the  case  of  such  an  objector,  a  certain  man  by  the 
name  of  Ketel  of  Deventer.  Also  Langenberg,  p.  x. 

1  See  Schmid,  Gesch.  d.  Ereithung  wm  Aitfang  bis  auf  unsere  Zeit,  Stutt- 
gart, 1892,  IT.  104-167;  Hirsche  in  Henog,  II.  759;  Pastor's  high  tribute, 
I.  152 ;  and  Langenberg,  p.  ix. 


282  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

of  Scripture,  given  to  private  circles  in  their  own  houses. 
Groote  went  to  the  Scriptures,  so  Thomas  a  Kempis  says,  as 
to  a  well  of  life.  Of  John  Celle,  d.  1417,  the  zealous  rector 
of  the  Zwolle  school,  the  same  biographer  writes  :  "  He  fre- 
quently expounded  to  the  pupils  the  Holy  Scriptures,  im- 
pressing upon  them  their  authority  and  stirring  them  up  to 
diligence  in  writing  out  the  sayings  of  the  saints.  He  also 
taught  them  to  sing  accurately,  and  sedulously  to  attend 
church,  to  honor  God's  ministers  and  to  pray  often."1 
Celle  himself  played  on  the  organ. 

The  central  theme  of  their  study  was  the  person  and  life 
of  Christ.  "Let  the  root  of  thy  study,"  said  Groote,  "and 
the  mirror  of  thy  life  be  primarily  the  Gospel,  for  therein  is 
the  life  of  Christ  portrayed."2  A  period  of  each  day  was 
set  apart  for  reflection  on  some  special  religious  subject,  — 
Sunday  on  heaven,  Monday  on  death,  Tuesday  on  the  mer- 
cies of  God,  Wednesday  on  the  last  judgment,  Thursday  on 
the  pains  of  hell,  Friday  on  the  Lord's  passion  and  Saturday 
on  sins.  They  laid  more  stress  upon  inward  purity  and 
rectitude  than  upon  outward  conformities  to  ritual.8 

The  excellent  people  joined  the  other  mystics  of  the  four- 
teenth century  in  loosening  the  hold  of  scholasticism  and  sacer- 
dotalism, those  two  master  forces  of  the  Middle  Ages.4  They 
gave  emphasis  to  the  ideas  brought  out  strongly  from  other 
quarters,  —  the  heretical  sects  and  such  writers  as  Marsiglius 
of  Padua,  —  the  idea  of  the  dignity  of  the  layman,  and  that 
monastic  vows  are  not  the  condition  of  pure  religious  devotion. 
They  were  the  chief  contributors  to  the  vigorous  religious 
current  which  was  flowing  through  the  Lowlands.  Popular 
religious  literature  was  in  circulation.  Manuals  of  devotion 
were  current,  cordials  and  prsecordials  for  the  soul's  needs. 
Written  codes  of  rules  for  laymen  were  passed  from  hand  to 

1  Kettlewell,  I.  111. 

2  Thos.  ft,  Kempis,  Vita  Gerard.  XVIII.  11 ;  Kettlewell,  I.  166.    A  life 
of  a  cleric  he  declared  to  be  the  people's  Gospel  —  vita  clerici  evangelium 
popult.  «  See  Langenberg,  p.  61. 

4  See  Ullman,  II.  82,  115  sq.  Schulze,  p.  190,  is  not  so  clear  on  this  point. 
Kettlewell,  IL  440,  says  that  the  Brothers  were  "  the  chief  agents  in  pioneer- 
ing  the  way  for  the  Reformation.'1 


§   34.      GERRIT  DE  GROOTE.  283 

hand,  giving  directions  for  their  conduct  at  home  and  abroad. 
Religious  poems  in  the  vernacular,  such  as  the  poem  on  the 
wise  and  foolish  virgins,  carried  biblical  truth. 

Van  viffjuncfrou  wen  de  wis  weren 
Unde  van  vifdwasen  wilt  nu  hir  leren. 

Some  of  these  were  translations  from  Bernard's  Jesu  dulcis 
memoria,  and  some  condemned  festivities  like  the  Maypole 
and  the  dance.1 

Eugene  IV.,  PiusII.,andSixtusIV.  gave  the  Brothers  marks 
of  their  approval,  and  the  great  teachers,  Cardinal  Cusa,D'Ailly 
and  John  Gerson  spoke  in  their  praise.  There  were,  however, 
detractors,  such  as  Grabon,a  Saxon  Dominican  who  presented, 
in  the  last  days  of  the  Council  of  Constance,  1418,  no  less 
than  twenty-five  charges  against  them.  The  substance  of 
the  charges  was  that  the  highest  religious  life  may  not  be 
lived  apart  from  the  orders  officially  sanctioned  by  the 
Church.  A  commission  appointed  by  Martin  V.,  to  which 
Gerson  and  D'Ailly  belonged,  reported  adversely,  and  Gra- 
bon  was  obliged  to  retract.  The  commission  adduced  the 
fact  that  there  was  no  monastic  body  in  Jerusalem  when  the 
primitive  Church  practised  community  of  goods,  and  that  con- 
ventual walls  and  vows  are  not  essential  to  the  highest  reli- 
gious life.  Otherwise  the  pope,  the  cardinals  and  the  prelates 
themselves  would  not  be  able  to  attain  to  the  highest  reach 
of  religious  experience.2 

With  the  Reformation,  the  distinct  mission  of  the  Brother- 
hood was  at  an  end,  and  many  of  the  communities  fell  in  with 

1  See  Langenberg.    The  poem  he  gives  on  the  dance,  68  sqq.,  begins— 
Hyr  na  volget  eyn  Icre  schone 
Teghen  dantzen  wide  van  den  meybome. 

Here  follows  a  nice  teaching  against  dancing  and  the  May  tree.  One  reason 
given  against  dancing  was  that  the  dancers  stretched  out  their  arms,  and  so 
showed  disrespect  to  Christ,  who  stretched  out  his  arms  on  the  cross.  One 
of  the  documents  is  a  letter  in  which  a  monk  warns  his  niece,  who  had  gone 
astray,  against  displays  of  dress  and  bold  gestures,  intended  to  attract  the 
attention  of  young  men,  especially  on  the  Cathedral  Square.  With  the  letter 
he  sent  his  niece  a  book  of  devotional  literature. 

9  Van  der  Hardt,  Cone.  Const.,  IIL  107-121,  gives  Grabon's  charges,  the 
judgments  of  D'Ailly  and  Gerson  and  the  text  of  Grabon's  retraction. 


284  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1617. 

the  new  movement.  As  for  the  houses  which  maintained 
their  old  rules,  Luther  felt  a  warm  interest  in  them.  When, 
in  1532,  the  Council  of  Hervord  in  Westphalia  was  proposing 
to  abolish  the  local  sister  and  brother  houses,  the  Reformer 
wrote  strongly  against  the  proposal  as  follows :  "  Inasmuch  as 
the  Brothers  and  Sisters,  who  were  the  first  to  start  the  Gos- 
pel among  you,  lead  a  creditable  life,  and  have  a  decent  and 
well-behaved  community,  and  faithfully  teach  and  hold  the 
pure  Word,  such  monasteries  and  brother-houses  please  me 
beyond  measure."  On  two  other  occasions,  he  openly  showed 
his  interest  in  the  brotherhood  of  which  Groote  was  the 
founder.1 


§  35.    The  Imitation  of  Christ.    Thomas  a  Kempis. 

.  .  .  mild  saint 
A  Kempis  overmild. 

—  LANIER. 

The  pearl  of  all  the  mystical  writings  of  the  German-Dutch 
school  is  the  Imitation  of  Christ,  the  work  of  Thomas  a  Kempis. 
With  the  Confessions  of  St.  Augustine  and  Bunyan's  Pilgrim's 
Progress  it  occupies  a  place  in  the  very  front  rank  of  manuals 
of  devotion,  and,  if  the  influence  of  books  is  to  be  judged  by 
their  circulation,  this  little  volume,  starting  from  a  convent 
in  the  Netherlands,  has,  next  to  the  Sacred  Scriptures,  been 
the  most  influential  of  all  the  religious  writings  of  Christen- 
dom. Protestants  and  Catholics  alike  have  joined  in  giving 
it  praise.  The  Jesuits  introduced  it  into  their  Exercises. 
Dr.  Samuel  Johnson,  once,  when  ill,  taught  himself  Dutch  by 
reading  it  in  that  language,  and  said  of  its  author  that  the 
world  had  opened  its  arms  to  receive  his  book.2  It  was 
translated  by  John  Wesley,  was  partly  instrumental  in  the 
conversion  of  John  Newton,  was  edited  by  Thomas  Chalmers, 
was  read  by  Mr.  Gladstone  "  as  a  golden  book  for  all  times  " 
and  was  ftie  companion  of  General  Gordon.  Dr.  Charles 

1  De  Wette,  Luther's  Letters,  Nos.  1448, 1440,  vol.  IV.,  pp.  368  sqq. 
9  An.  The  Worldly  Wisdom  of  Thos.  ft  Kempis,  in  Dublin  Review,  1908, 
pp.  262-287. 


§  85.      THE  IMITATION  OF  CHEIST.  285 

Hodge,  the  Presbyterian  divine,  said  it  has  diffused  itself 
like  incense  through  the  aisles  and  alcoves  of  the  Uni- 
versal Church.1 

The  number  of  counted  editions  exceeds  2000.  The 
British  Museum  has  more  than  1000  editions  on  its  shelves.3 

Originally  written  in  the  Latin,  a  French  translation  was 
made  as  early  as  1447,  which  still  remains  in  manuscript. 
The  first  printed  French  copies  appeared  in  Toulouse,  1488. 
The  earliest  German  translation  was  made  in  1434  and  is 
preserved  in  Cologne,  and  printed  editions  in  German  begin 
with  the  Augsburg  edition  of  1486.  Men  eminent  in  the 
annals  of  German  piety,  such  as  Arndt,  1621,  Gossner,  1824, 
and  Tersteegen,  1844,  have  issued  editions  with  prefaces. 
The  work  first  appeared  in  print  in  English,  1502,  the  trans- 
lation being  partly  by  the  hand  of  Margaret,  the  mother  of 
Henry  VII.  Translations  appeared  in  Italian  in  Venice  and 
Milan,  1488,  in  Spanish  at  Seville,  1536,  in  Arabic  at  Rome, 
1663,  in  Arminian  at  Rome,  1674,  and  in  other  languages. 8 

The  Imitation  of  Christ  consists  of  four  books,  and  derives 
its  title  from  the  heading  of  the  first  book,  De  imitatione 
Christi  et  contemptu  omnium  vanitatum  mundi^  the  imitation  of 
Christ  and  the  contempt  of  all  the  vanities  of  the  world. 
It  seems  to  have  been  written  in  metre.4  The  four  books 
are  not  found  in  all  the  manuscripts  nor  invariably  arranged 
in  the  same  order,  facts  which  have  led  some  to  suppose  that 

1  System.  Theol.,  I.  79.    For  Gladstone's  judgment,  see  Morley,  II.  186. 
Butler,    p.  191,  gives  a  list  of  33  English  translations  from  1602-1900. 
De  Quincey  said :  "  The  book  came  forward  in  answer  to  the  sighing  of  Chris- 
tian Europe  for  light  from  heaven.     Excepting  the  Bible  in  Protestant  lands, 
no  book  known  to  man  has  had  the  same  distinction.    It  is  the  most  marvel- 
lous biblical  fact  on  record."    Quoted  by  Kettle  well,  I. 

2  Backer,  in  his  Essai  bibliogr.,  enumerates  545  Latin  editions,  and  about 
900  editions  in  French.    There  are  more  than  50  editions  belonging  to  the  fif- 
teenth century.    See  Funk,  p.  426.    The  Bullingen  collection,  donated  to  the 
city  library  of  Cologne,  1838,  contained  at  the  time  of  the  gift  400  different 
edd.    Montmorenci,  p.  xzii  sq.,  gives  the  dates  of  29  edd.,  1471-1503,  with 
places  of  issue. 

8  Corneille  produced  a  poetical  translation  in  French,  1651.  A  polyglot 
edition  appeared  at  Sulzbach,  1837,  comprising  the  Latin  text  and  translations 
in  Italian,  French,  German,  Greek  and  English. 

*  Hirsche  discovered  the  rhythm  and  made  it  known,  1874. 


286  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

they  were  not  all  written  at  the  same  time.  The  work  is  a 
manual  of  devotion  intended  to  help  the  soul  in  its  commun- 
ion with  God.  Its  sententious  statements  are  pitched  in  the 
highest  key  of  Christian  experience.  Within  and  through 
all  its  reflections  runs  the  word,  self-renunciation.  Its  open- 
ing words,  "  whoso  f olloweth  me,  shall  not  walk  in  darkness 
but  shall  have  the  light  of  life,"  John  8 : 12,  are  a  fitting 
announcement  of  the  contents.  The  life  of  Christ  is  repre- 
sented as  the  highest  study  it  is  possible  for  a  mortal  to  take 
up.  He  who  has  his  spirit  has  found  the  hidden  manna. 
What  can  the  world  confer  without  Jesus?  To  be  without 
him  is  the  direst  hell;  to  be  with  him,  the  sweetest  paradise. 

Here  are  counsels  to  read  the  Scriptures,  statements  about 
the  uses  of  adversity  and  advice  for  submission  to  author- 
ity, warnings  against  temptations,  reflections  upon  death,  the 
judgment  and  paradise.  Here  are  meditations  on  Christ's 
oblation  on  the  cross  and  the  advantages  of  the  communion, 
and  also  admonitions  to  flee  the  vanities  and  emptiness  of 
the  world  and  to  love  God,  for  he  that  lovetli,  knoweth  God. 
Christ  is  more  than  all  the  wisdom  of  the  schools.  He  lifts  up 
the  mind  in  a  moment  of  time  to  perceive  more  reasons  for 
eternal  truth  than  a  student  might  learn  over  books  in  ten 
years.  He  teaches  without  confusion  of  words,  without  the 
clashing  of  opinions,  without  the  pride  of  reputation,  —  sine 
fastu  honoris, — the  contention  of  arguments.  The  conclud- 
ing words  are  :  "  My  eyes  are  unto  Thee.  My  God,  in  Thee  do 
I  put  my  trust,  O  Thou  Father  of  mercies.  Accompany  thy 
servant  with  Thy  grace  and  direct  him  by  the  path  of  peace 
to  the  land  of  unending  light  — patriam  perpetuce  claritatis." 

The  plaintive  minor  key,  the  gently  persuasive  tone  of  the 
work  are  adapted  to  attract  serious  souls  seeking  the  inner 
chamber  of  religious  peace  and  purity  of  thought,  but  especially 
those  who  are  under  the  shadow  of  pain  and  sorrow.  The 
praise  of  Christ  is  so  unstinted,  and  the  dependence  upon  him 
so  unaffected,  that  one  cannot  help  but  feel,  in  reading  this 
book,  that  he  is  partaking  of  the  essence  of  the  Gospel.  The 
work,  however,  presents  only  one  side  of  the  Christian  life. 
It  commends  humility,  submission,  gentleness  and  the  passive 


§  35.      THE  IMITATION  OF  CHRIST.  287 

virtues.  It  does  not  emphasize  the  manly  virtues  of  courage  and 
loyalty  to  the  truth,  nor  elaborate  upon  Christian  activities  to 
be  done  to  our  fellow-men.  To  fall  in  completely  with  the  spirit 
of  Thomas  a  Kempis,  and  to  abide  there,  would  mean  to  follow 
the  best  cloistral  ideal  of  the  Middle  Ages,  or  rather  of  the 
fourteenth  century.  Its  counsels  and  reflections  were  meant 
primarily  for  those  who  had  made  the  convent  their  home, 
not  for  the  busy  traffickers  in  the  marts  of  the  world,  and  in 
association  with  men  of  all  classes.  It  leans  to  quietism,  and 
is  calculated  to  promote  personal  piety  for  those  who  dwell 
much  alone  rather  than  to  fit  men  for  engaging  in  the  public 
battles  which  fall  to  men's  usual  lot.  Its  admonitions  are 
adapted  to  help  men  to  bear  with  patience  rather  than  to  rectify 
the  evils  in  the  world,  to  be  silent  rather  than  to  speak  to  the 
throng,  to  live  well  in  seclusion  rather  than  set  an  example  of 
manly  and  womanly  endeavor  in  the  shop,  on  the  street  and 
in  the  family.  The  charge  has  been  made,  and  not  without 
some  ground,  that  the  Imitation  of  Christ  sets  forth  a  selfish 
type  of  religion.1  Its  soft  words  are  fitted  to  quiet  the  soul 
and  bring  it  to  meek  contentment  rather  than  to  stir  up  the 
combatant  virtues  of  courage  and  of  assistance  to  others. 
Its  message  corresponds  to  the  soft  glow  of  the  summer  even- 
ing, and  not  to  the  fresh  hours  filled  with  the  rays  of  the  morn- 
ing sun.  This  plaintive  note  runs  through  Thomas'  hymns, 
as  may  be  seen  from  a  verse  taken  from  "  The  Misery  of 

this  Life":  — 

Most  wonderful  would  it  be 
If  one  did  not  feel  and  lament 
That  in  this  world  to  live 
Is  toil,  affliction,  pain.3 

i  This  is  Milman's  judgment.     Hist.  ofLat.  Christ.,  Bk.  XIV.,  3,  Milman 
Raid,  "  The  book's  sole,  single,  exclusive  object  is  the  purification,  the  eleva- 
tion of  the  individual  soul,  of  the  man  absolutely  isolated  from  his  kind,  of  the 
man  dwelling  alone  in  the  heritage  of  his  thoughts. " 
8  Mirum  est,  si  non  lugeat 
Experimento  qui  probat 
Quod  vivere  in  sceculo 
Labor,  dolor,  afflictio. 

Blume   and    Dreves:    Analecta   hymnica,     XL VIII.    608.     Thomas   a 
Kempis'  hymns  are  given  Blume  and  Dreves,  XLVIII.  476-614. 


288  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

Over  the  pages  of  the  book  is  written  the  word  Christ.  It 
is  for  this  reason  that  Protestants  cherish  it  as  well  as  Cath- 
olics. The  references  to  mediaeval  errors  of  doctrine  or 
practice  are  so  rare  that  it  requires  diligent  search  to  find 
them.  Such  as  they  are,  they  are  usually  erased  from  Eng- 
lish editions,  so  that  the  English  reader  misses  them  entirely. 
Thomas  introduces  the  merit  of  good  works,  transubstantia- 
tion,  IV.  2,  the  doctrine  of  purgatory,  IV.  9,  and  the  worship 
of  saints,  I.  13,  II.  9,  II.  6,  59.  But  these  statements,  how- 
ever, are  like  the  flecks  on  the  marbles  of  the  Parthenon. 

The  author,  Thomas  a  Kempis,  1380-1471,  was  born  in 
Kempen,  a  town  40  miles  northwest  of  Cologne,  and  died 
at  Zwolle,  in  the  Netherlands.  His  paternal  name  was 
Hemerken  or  Hammerlein,  Little  Hammer.  He  was  a 
follower  of  Groote.  In  1395,  he  was  sent  to  the  school  of 
Deventer,  under  the  charge  of  Florentius  Radewyn  and  the 
Brothers  of  the  Common  Life.  He  became  skilful  as  a 
copyist,  and  was  thus  enabled  to  support  himself .  Later  he 
was  admitted  to  the  Augustinian  convent  of  Mt.  St.  Agnes, 
near  Zwolle,  received  priest's  orders,  1413,  and  was  made  sub- 
prior,  1429.  His  brother  John,  a  man  of  rectitude  of  life,  had 
been  there  before  him,  and  was  prior.  Thomas'  life  seems  to 
have  been  a  quiet  one,  devoted  to  meditation,  composition 
and  copying.  He  copied  the  Bible  no  less  than  four  times, 
one  of  the  copies  being  preserved  at  Darmstadt.  His  works 
abound  in  quotations  of  the  New  Testament.  Under  an  old 
picture,  which  is  represented  as  his  portrait,  are  the  words, 
"  In  all  things  I  sought  quiet,  and  found  it  not  save  in  retire- 
ment and  in  books."1  They  fit  well  the  author  of  the  famous 
Imitation  of  Christ,  as  the  world  thinks  of  him.  He  reached 
the  high  age  of  fourscore  years  and  ten.  A  monument  was 
dedicated  to  his  memory  in  the  presence  of  the  archbishop 
of  Utrecht  in  St  Michael's  Church,  Zwolle,  Nov.  11,  1897. 
The  writings  of  a  Kempis,  which  are  all  of  a  devotional 

1  In  omnibus  requiem  qucesivi  et  non  invent  nisi  in  een  huechsken  met  een 
buexken.  Franciscus  Tolensis  is  the  first  to  ascribe  the  portrait  to  &  Kempis. 
Kettlewell's  statements  about  a  Kempis1  active  religious  services  are  imagi- 
nary, I.  31,  322,  etc.  See  Lindsay's  statement,  Enc.  Brit.,  XIV.  32. 


§  35.       THE  IMITATION   OF   CHRIST.  289 

character,  include  tracts  and  meditations,  letters,  sermons, 
a  Life  of  St.  Lydewigis,  a  steadfast  Christian  woman  who 
endured  a  great  fight  of  afflictions,  and  the  biographies  of 
Groote,  Florentius  and  nine  of  their  companions.  Works 
similar  to  the  Imitation  of  Christ  are  his  prolonged  medita- 
tion upon  the  Incarnation,  and  a  meditation  on  the  Life  and 
Blessings  of  the  Saviour,1  both  of  which  overflow  with  admi- 
ration for  Christ. 

In  these  writings  the  traces  of  mediaeval  theology,  though 
they  are  found,  are  not  obtrusive.  The  writer  followed  his 
mediaeval  predecessors  in  the  worship  of  Mary,  of  whom  he 
says,  she  is  to  be  invoked  by  all  Christians,  especially  by 
monastics.2  He  prays  to  her  as  the  "  most  merciful,"  the 
"  most  glorious  "  mother  of  God,  and  calls  her  the  queen  of 
heaven,  the  efficient  mediatrix  of  the  whole  world,  the  joy 
and  delight  of  all  the  saints,  yea,  the  golden  couch  for  all  the 
saints.  She  is  the  chamber  of  God,  the  gate  of  heaven,  the 
paradise  of  delights,  the  well  of  graces,  the  glory  of  the 
angels,  the  joy  of  men,  the  model  of  manners,  the  brightness 
of  virtues,  the  lamp  of  life,  the  hope  of  the  needy,  the  salva- 
tion of  the  weak,  the  mother  of  the  orphaned.  To  her  all 
should  flee  as  sons  to  a  mother's  bosom.8 

From  these  tender  praises  of  Mary  it  is  pleasant  to  turn 
away  to  the  code  of  twenty-three  precepts  which  the 
Dutch  mystic  laid  down  under  the  title,  A  Small  Alphabet 
for  a  Monk  in  the  School  of  G-od.*  Here  are  some  of  them. 
Love  to  be  unknown  and  to  be  reputed  as  nothing.  Love 
solitude  and  silence,  and  thou  wilt  find  great  quiet  and  a 
good  conscience.  Where  the  crowd  is,  there  is  usually  con- 
fusion and  distraction  of  heart.  Choose  poverty  and  simplic- 
ity. Humble  thyself  in  all  things  and  under  all  things,  and 
thou  wilt  merit  kindness  from  all.  Let  Christ  be  thy  life, 
thy  reading,  thy  meditation,  thy  conversation,  thy  desire,  thy 
gain,  thy  hope  and  thy  reward.  Zaccheus,  brother,  descend 

i  Pohl'g  edM  II.  1-59  ;  V.  1-363. 

a  De  disciplina  claustralium,  Pohl'e  ed.,  II.  313.  For  prayers  to  Mary 
III.  356-368  and  sermons  on  Mary,  VI.  218-238. 

»  Pohl,  III.  867;  VI.  210,  235  sq.  *  IIL  817-322. 

u 


290  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

from  the  height  of  thy  secular  wisdom.  Come  and  learn  in 
God's  school  the  way  of  humility,  long-suffering  and  patience, 
and  Christ  teaching  thee,  thou  shalt  come  at  last  safely  to 
the  glory  of  eternal  beatitude. 

NOTE. — THE  AUTHORSHIP  OF  THE  IMITATION  OF  CHRIST.  This  question 
has  been  one  of  the  most  hotly  contested  questions  in  the  history  of  pure  lit- 
erature. National  sentiments  have  entered  into  the  discussion,  France  and 
Italy  contending  for  the  honor  of  authorship  with  the  Lowlands.  The  work 
is  now  quite  generally  ascribed  to  Thomas  a  Kempis,  but  among  those  who 
dissent  from  this  opinion  are  scholars  of  rank. 

Among  the  more  recent  treatments  of  the  subject  not  given  in  the  Litera- 
ture, §  27,  are  V.  BECKER  :  Vauteur  de  Vlmitat.  et  les  documents  neerlandais, 
Hague,  1882.  Also  Les  derniers  travaux  sur  Vauteur  de  Vlmitat.,  Brussels, 
1889.  —  DENIFLE  :  Krit.  Bemerk.  zur  Gersen-Kempis  Frage,  Zeitung  fur 
kath.  Theol.,  1882  sq.  — A.  0.  SPITZEN  .  Th.  a  K.  als  schrijver  der  navolging, 
Utrecht,  1880.  Also  Nouvelle  defense  en  reponse  du  Denifle,  Utrecht,  1884.  — 
L.  SAKTINI:  I  diritti  di  Tommaso  da  Kemp.,  2  vols.,  Rome,  1879-1881.— 
F.  X.  FUNK:  Gerson  und  Gersen  and  Der  Verfasser  der  Nachfolge  Christi 
in  his  Abhandlungen,  Paderborn,  1899,  II.  37;M44.  —  P.  E.  PMOL  Descnpt. 
bibliogr.  des  MSS.  et  desprincip.  edd  du  livre  de  imitat.,  Paris,  1898.  Also 
Paleographie^  classement,  genealogie  du  livre  de  imitat.,  Paris,  1898.  Also 
Vauteur  du  livre  de  imitat.,  2  vols.,  Paris,  1899.  —  SCIIULZE'B  art.  in 
HERZOO.  —  G.  KENTENICH  :  Die  Uandschriften  der  Imitat.  und  die  Autorschaft 
des  Thomas,  in  Brieger's  Zeitschrift,  1902,  18  sqq.,  1903,  594  sqq. 

Pohl  gives  a  list  of  no  less  than  35  persons  to  whom  with  more  or  less  con- 
fidence the  authorship  has  been  ascribed.  The  list  includes  the  names  of 
John  Gerson,  chancellor  of  the  University  of  Paris ;  John  Gersen,  the  reputed 
abbot  of  Vercelli,  Italy,  who  lived  about  1230 ;  Walter  Hylton,  St.  Bernard, 
Bonaventura,  David  of  Augsburg,  Tauler,  Suso  and  even  Innocent  III.  The 
only  claimants  worthy  of  consideration  are  Gerson,  Gersen,  and  Thomas  a 
Kempis,  although  Montinorency  is  inclined  to  advance  the  claim  of  Walter 
Hylton.  The  uncertainty  arises  from  the  facts  (1)  that  a  number  of  the 
MSS.  and  printed  editions  of  the  fifteenth  centuiy  have  no  note  of  author- 
ship ;  (2)  the  rest  are  divided  between  these,  Gerson,  Gersen,  &  Kempis, 
Hylton,  and  St.  Bernard ;  (3)  the  MSS.  copies  show  important  divergencies. 
The  matter  has  been  made  more  difficult  by  the  forgery  of  names  and  dates 
in  MSS.  since  the  controversy  began,  these  forgeries  being  almost  entirely  in 
the  interest  of  a  French  or  Italian  authorship.  A  reason  for  the  absence  of 
the  author's  name  in  so  many  MSS.  is  found  in  the  desire  of  &  Kempis,  if  he 
indeed  be  the  author,  to  remain  incognito,  in  accordance  with  his  own  motto, 
ama  nesciri,  *'love  to  be  unknown. " 

Of  the  Latin  editions  belonging  to  the  fifteenth  century,  Pohl  gives  28  as 
accredited  to  Gerson,  12  to  Thomas,  2  to  St.  Bernard,  and  6  as  anonymous. 
Or,  to  follow  Funk,  p.  426, 40  editions  of  that  century  were  ascribed  to  Ger- 
son, 11  to  a  Kempis,  2  to  Bernard,  1  to  Gersen,  and  2  are  anonymous.  Spit- 
zen  gives  15  as  ascribed  to  a  Kempis.  Most  of  the  editions  ascribing  the 


§  35.      THE  IMITATION  OF  CHRIST.  291 

work  to  Gerson  were  printed  in  France,  the  remaining  editions  being  printed 
in  Italy  or  Spain.  The  editions  of  the  sixteenth  century  show  a  change,  37 
Latin  editions  ascribing  the  authorship  to  a  Kempis,  and  26  to  Gerson.  As 
for  the  MSS.  dated  before  1460,  and  whose  dates  may  be  said  to  be  reason- 
ably above  suspicion,  all  were  written  in  Germany  and  the  Lowlands.  The 
oldest,  included  in  a  codex  preserved  since  1826  in  the  royal  library  of  Brus- 
sels, probably  belongs  before  1420.  The  codex  contains  9  other  writings  of 
a  Kempis  besides  the  Imitation,  and  contains  the  note,  Finitus  et  completus 
MCCCCXLI  per  manus  fratris  Th.  Kempensis  in  Monte  S.  Agnetis  prope 
Zwollis  (finished  and  completed,  1441,  by  the  hands  of  brother  Thomas  a 
Kempis  of  Mount  St.  Agnes,  near  Zwolle).  See  Pohl,  II.  461  sqq.  So  this  is 
an  autographic  copy.  The  text  of  the  Imitation,  however,  is  written  on  older 
paper  than  the  other  documents,  and  has  corrections  which  are  found  in  a 
Dutch  translation  of  the  first  book,  dating  from  1420.  For  these  reasons, 
Funk,  p.  424,  and  others,  puts  the  MS.  back  to  1416-1420. 

The  literary  controversy  over  the  authorship  began  in  1604,  when  Dom 
Pedro  Manriquez,  in  a  work  on  the  Lord's  Supper  issued  at  Milan,  and  on  the 
alleged  basis  of  a  quotation  by  Bonaventura,  declared  the  Imitation  to  be 
older  than  that  Schoolman.  In  1606,  Bellarmin,  in  his  Descript.  eccles.,  was 
more  precise,  and  stated  it  was  already  in  existence  in  1260.  About  the 
same  time,  the  Jesuit,  Kossignoli,  found  in  a  convent  at  Arona,  near  Milan,  a 
MS.  without  date,  but  bearing  the  name  of  an  abbot,  John  Gersen,  as  its 
author ;  the  house  had  belonged  to  the  Benedictines  once.  In  1614  the  Bene- 
dictine, Constantius  Cajetan,  secretary  of  Paul  V.,  issued  his  Gersen  restitutus 
at  Rome,  and  later  his  Apparatus  ad  Gersenem  restitittnm,  in  which  he  de- 
fended the  Italian's  claim.  This  individual  was  said  to  have  been  a  Benedic- 
tine abbot  of  Vercelli,  in  Piedmont,  in  the  first  half  of  the  thirteenth  century. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  Augustinian,  Rosweyde,  in  his  v indictee  Kempenses, 
Antwerp,  1617,  so  cogently  defended  the  claims  of  a  Kempis  that  Bellarmin 
withdrew  his  statement.  In  the  nineteenth  century  the  claims  of  Gersen  were 
again  urged  by  a  Piedmontese  nobleman,  Gregory,  in  his  Istoria  delta  Ver- 
cellese  letteratura,  Turin,  1819,  and  subsequent  publications,  and  by  Wolfs- 
gruber  of  Vienna  in  a  scholarly  work,  1880.  But  Hirsche  and  Funk  are,  no 
doubt,  right  in  pronouncing  the  name  Gersen  a  mistake  for  Gerson,  and  Funk, 
after  careful  criticism,  declares  the  Italian  abbot  a  fictitious  personage.  The 
most  recent  Engl.  writer  on  the  subject,  Montmorenciy,  p.  xiii,  says,  "  there  is 
no  evidence  that  there  was  ever  an  abbot  of  Vercelli  by  the  name  of  Gersen. " 

The  claims  of  John  Gerson  are  of  a  substantial  character,  and  France  was 
not  slow  in  coming  to  the  chancellor's  defence.  An  examination  of  old  MSS., 
made  in  Paris,  had  an  uncertain  issue,  so  that,  in  1640,  Richelieu's  splendid 
edition  of  the  Imitation  was  sent  forth  without  an  author's  name.  The 
French  parliament,  however,  in  1652,  ordered  the  book  printed  under  the 
name  of  a  Kerapis.  The  matter  was  not  settled  and,  at  three  gatherings, 
1671,  1674,  1687,  instituted  by  Mabillon,  a  fresh  examination  of  MSS.  was 
made,  with  the  result  that  the  case  went  against  a  Kempis.  Later,  Du  Pin, 
after  a  comparison  of  Gerson 's  writings  with  the  Imitation,  concluded  that 
it  was  impossible  to  decide  with  certainty  between  these  two  writers  and 
Gersen.  (See  his  2d  ed.  of  Genon'a  Works,  1728,  I.  lix-lxxxiv) ;  but  in  a 


292  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517 

special  work,  Amsterdam,  1706,  he  had  decided  in  favor  of  the  Dutchman. 
French  editions  of  the  Imitation  continued  to  be  issued  under  the  name  of 
Gerson,  as,  for  example,  those  of  Erhard-Mezler,  1724,  and  Vollardt,  1768. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  Augustinian,  Amort,  defended  the  a  Kempis  author- 
ship in  his  Informatio  de  statu  controversies,  Augsburg,  1728,  and  especially 
in  his  Scutum  Kempense,  Cologne,  1728.  After  the  unfavorable  statement 
of  Schwab,  Life  of  Genon,  1858,  pp.  782-786,  declaring  that  the  Imitation  is 
in  an  altogether  different  style  from  Gerson*s  works,  the  theory  of  the  Gerson 
authorship  seemed  to  be  finally  abandoned.  The  first  collected  edition  of 
Gerson's  Works,  1483,  knows  nothing  about  the  Imitation.  Nor  did  Gerson's 
brother,  prior  of  Lyons,  mention  it  in  the  list  he  gave  of  the  chancellor's 
works,  1423.  The  author  of  the  Imitation  was,  by  his  own  statements,  a 
monk,  IV.  6,  11 ;  III.,  56.  Gerson  would  have  been  obliged  to  change  his 
usual  habit  of  presentation  to  have  written  in  the  monastic  tone. 

After  the  question  of  authorship  seemed  to  be  pretty  well  settled  in  favor 
of  a  Kempis,  another  stage  in  the  controversy  was  opened  by  the  publications 
of  Puyol  in  1898, 1899.  Puyol  gives  a  description  of  348  manuscripts,  and 
makes  a  sharp  distinction  between  those  of  Italian  origin  and  other  manu- 
scripts. He  also  annotates  the  variations  in  57,  with  the  conclusion  that  the 
Italian  text  is  the  more  simple,  and  consequently  the  older  and  original  text. 
He  himself  based  his  edition  on  the  text  of  Arona.  Puyol  is  followed  by 
Kentenich,  and  has  been  answered  by  Pohl  and  others. 

Walter  Hylton's  reputed  authorship  of  the  Imitation  is  based  upon  three 
books  of  that  work,  having  gone  under  the  name  De  musica  ecclesiastica  in 
MSS.  in  England  and  the  persistent  English  tradition  that  Hylton  was  the 
author.  Montmorency,  pp.  xiv,  138-170,  while  he  pronounces  the  Hylton 
theory  of  authorship  untenable,  confesses  his  inability  to  explain  it. 

The  arguments  in  favor  of  the  a  Kempis  authorship,  briefly  stated,  are 
as  follows :  — 

1.  External  testimony.    John  Busch,  in  his  Chronicon   Windetemense, 
written  1464,  seven  years  before  &  Kempis'  death,  expressly  states  that  a 
Kempis  wrote  the  Imitation.     To  this  testimony  are  to  be  added  the  testi- 
monies of  Caspar  of  Pforzheim,  who  made  a  German  translation  of  the  work, 
1448 ;  Hermann  Rheyd,  who  met  Thomas,  1454,  and  John  Wessel,  who  was 
attracted  to  Windesheim  by  the  book's  fame.    For  other  testimonies,  see 
Hirsche  and  Funk,  pp.  432-436. 

2.  Manuscripts  and  editions.    The  number  of  extant  MSS.  is  about  500. 
See  Kentenich,  p.  294.  Funk,  p.  420,  gives  13  MSS.  dated  before  1500,  ascrib- 
ing the  Imitation  to  a  Kempis.     The  autograph  copy,  contained  in  the 
Brussels  codex  of  1441,  has  already  been  mentioned.     It  must  be  said,  how- 
ever, the  conclusion  reached  by  Hirsche,  Pohl,  Funk,  Schulze  and  others  that 
this  text  is  autographic  has  been  denied  by  Puyol  and  Kentenich,  on  the 
basis  of  its  divergences  from  other  copies,  which  they  claim  the  author  could 
not  have  made.     A  second  autograph,  in  Louvaine  (see  Schulze,  p.  730), 
seems  to  be  nearly  as  old,  1420,  and  has  the  note  scriptus  manibus  et  char- 
acteribus  Thomas  qui  est  autor  horum  devotorum  libellorum,  "  written  by 
the  hand  of  Thomas,"  etc.  (Pohl,  VI.  456  sq.).    A  third  MS.,  stating  that 
Thomas  is  the  author,  and  preserved  in  Brussels,  is  dated  1425.  —As  for  the 


§  36.      THE  GERMAN  THEOLOGY.  293 

printed  editions  of  the  fifteenth  century,  at  least  13  present  Thomas  as  the 
author,  from  the  edition  of  Augsburg,  1472,  to  the  editions  of  Paris,  1493, 
1600. 

3.  Style  and  contents.  These  agree  closely  with  &  Kempis'  other  writ- 
ings, and  the  flow  of  thought  is  altogether  similar  to  that  of  his  Meditation 
on  Christ's  Incarnation.  Spitzen  seems  to  have  made  it  at  least  very  prob- 
able that  the  author  was  acquainted  with  the  writings  of  Ruysbroeck,  John 
of  Schoenhoven,  and  other  mystics  and  monks  of  the  Lowlands.  Funk  has 
brought  out  references  to  ecclesiastical  customs  which  fit  the  book  into  the 
time  between  the  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  centuries.  Hirsche  laid  stress  on 
Germanisms  in  the  style. 

Among  recent  German  scholars,  Denifle  sets  aside  a  Kempis'  claims  and 
ascribes  the  work  to  some  unknown  canon  regular  of  the  Lowlands.  Karl 
Muller,  in  a  brief  note,  Kir cheng each.,  II.  122,  and  Loofs  Dogmengesch., 
4th  ed.,  p.  633,  pronounce  the  &  Kempis  authorship  more  than  doubtful. 
On  the  other  hand,  Schwab,  Hirsche,  Schulze  and  Funk  agree  that  the  claims 
of  Thomas  are  almost  beyond  dispute.  It  is  almost  impossible  to  give  a  rea- 
son why  the  Imitation  should  have  been  ascribed  to  the  Dutch  mystic,  if  he 
were  not  indeed  its  author.  The  explanation  given  by  Kentenich,  p.  603, 
seems  to  be  utterly  insufficient. 

§  3G.     The  German  Theology. 

The  evangelical  teachings  of  the  little  book,  known  as  The 
German  Tfieoloffy,  led  Ullmann  to  place  its  author  in  the  list 
of  the  Reformers  before  the  Reformation.1  The  author  was 
one  of  the  Friends  of  God,  and  no  writing  issuing  from  that 
circle  has  had  a  more  honorable  and  useful  career.  Together 
with  the  Imitation  of  Christ,  it  has  been  the  most  profitable  of 
the  writings  of  the  German  mystics.  Its  fame  is  derived 
from  Luther's  high  praise  as  much  as  from  its  own  excellent 
contents.  The  Reformer  issued  two  editions  of  it,  1516, 
with  a  partial  text,  and  1518,  in  the  second  edition  giving  it 
the  name  which  remains  with  it  to  this  day,  Ein  Deut%ch 
Tfieologia  —  A  German  treatise  of  Theology.2  Luther  desig- 

1  The  best  German  ed.,  Stuttgart,  1868.    The  text  is  taken  from  Pfeiffer's 
ed.,  Strassburg,  1851,  3d  ed.  unchanged ;  Gtitersloh,  1875,  containing  Luther's 
Preface  of  1618  and  the  Preface  of  Joh.  Arndt,  1632.    Pfeiffer  used  the  MS. 
dated  1407,  the  oldest  in  existence.   The  best  Engl.  trans.,  by  Susannah  Wink- 
worth,  from  Pfeiffer's  text,  London,  1864,  Andover,  1860.    The  Andover  ed. 
contains  an  Introd.  by  Miss  Wink  worth,  a  Letter  from  Chevalier  Bunsen 
and  Prefaces  by  Canon  Kingsley  and  Prof.  Calvin  E.  Stowe. 

2  Luther's  full  title  in  the  ed.  of  1518  is  Ein  Deutsch  Theologia,  das  itt  ein 
tdles  Duchlein  vom  rechten  Vertttande.  was  Adam  und  Ckristus  sei  und  trie 


294  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

nated  as  its  author  a  Frankfurt  priest,  a  Teutonic  knight,  but 
for  a  time  it  was  ascribed  to  Tauler.  The  Preface  of  the 
oldest  MS.,  dated  1497,  and  found  in  1850,  made  this  view 
impossible,  for  Tauler  is  himself  quoted  in  ch.  XIII.  Here 
the  author  is  called  a  Frankfurt  priest  and  a  true  Friend  of 
God. 

Luther  announced  his  high  obligation  to  the  teachings  of 
the  manual  of  the  way  of  salvation  when  he  said  that  next 
to  the  Bible  and  St.  Augustine,  no  book  had  come  into  his 
hands  from  which  he  had  learnt  more  of  what  God  and  man 
and  all  things  are  and  would  wish  to  learn  more.  The  author, 
he  affirmed,  was  a  pure  Israelite  who  did  not  take  the  foam 
from  the  surface,  but  drew  from  the  bed  of  the  Jordan.  Here, 
he  continued,  the  teachings  of  the  Scriptures  are  set  forth  as 
plain  as  day  which  have  been  lying  under  the  desk  of  the 
universities,  nay,  have  almost  been  left  to  rot  in  dust  and 
muck.  With  his  usual  patriotism,  he  declared  that  in  the 
book  he  had  found  Christ  in  the  German  tongue  as  he  and  the 
other  German  theologians  had  never  found  him  in  Greek, 
Latin  or  Hebrew. 

The  German  Theology  sets  forth  man's  sinful  and  helpless 
condition,  Christ's  perfection  and  mediatorial  work  and  calls 
upon  men  to  have  access  to  God  through  him  as  the  door. 
In  all  its  fifty-four  chapters  no  reference  is  made  to  Mary  or 
to  the  justifying  nature  of  good  works  or  the  merit  of  sacra- 
mental observances.1  It  abounds  as  no  other  writing  of  the 
German  mystics  did  in  quotations  from  the  New  Testament. 
In  its  pages  the  wayfaring  man  may  find  the  path  of  salvation 
marked  out  without  mystification. 

The  book,  starting  out  with  the  words  of  St.  Paul,  "  when 
that  which  is  perfect  is  come,  then  that  which  is  in  part  shall  be 

Adam  in  uns  tterben  und  Christus  in  un$  erttehen  soil.  A  German  the- 
ology, that  is,  a  right  noble  little  book  about  the  right  comprehension  of  what 
Adam  and  Christ  are,  and  how  Adam  is  to  die  in  us  and  Christ  is  to  arise. 
Cobra  in  Herzog,  XIX.  626,  mentions  28  editions  as  having  appeared  in  High 
German  previous  to  1742.  Luther's  Prefaces  are  given  in  the  Weimar  ed.  of 
his  Works,  pp.  163,  370-878. 

1  Dr.  Calvin  B.  Stowe  said  *«  the  book  sets  forth  the  essential  principle  of 
the  Gospel  in  its  naked  simplicity,11  Winkworth's  ed.,  p.  v. 


§  37.      ENGLISH  MYSTICS.  295 

done  away,'*  declares  that  that  which  is  imperfect  has  only 
a  relative  existence  and  that,  whenever  the  Perfect  becomes 
known  by  the  creature,  then  "  the  I,  the  Self  and  the  like 
must  all  be  given  up  and  done  away."  Christ  shows  us 
the  way  by  having  taken  on  him  human  nature.  In  chs. 
XV.-LIV.,  it  shows  that  all  men  are  dead  in  Adam,  and  that 
to  come  to  the  perfect  life,  the  old  man  must  die  and  the  new 
man  be  born.  He  must  become  possessed  with  God  and  de- 
possessed  of  the  devil.  Obedience  is  the  prime  requisite  of 
the  new  manhood.  Sin  is  disobedience,  and  the  more  "  of 
Self  and  Me,  the  more  of  sin  and  wickedness  and  the  more 
the  Self,  the  I,  the  Me,  the  Mine,  that  is,  self-seeking  and  self- 
ishness, abate  in  a  man,  the  more  doth  God's  I,  that  is,  God 
Himself,  increase."  By  obedience  we  become  free.  The  life 
of  Christ  is  the  perfect  model,  and  we  follow  him  by  heark- 
ening unto  his  words  to  forsake  all.  This  is  nothing  else  than 
saying  that  we  must  be  in  union  with  the  divine  will  and  be 
ready  either  to  do  or  to  suffer.  Such  a  man,  a  man  who  is  a 
partaker  of  the  divine  nature,  will  in  sincerity  love  all  men 
and  things,  do  them  good  and  take  pleasure  in  their  welfare. 
Knowledge  and  light  profit  nothing  without  love.  Love 
maketli  a  man  one  with  God.  The  last  word  is  that  no  man 
can  come  unto  the  Father  but  by  Christ. 

In  1621  the  Catholic  Church  placed  the  Theologia  Q-erman- 
ica  on  the  Index.  If  all  the  volumes  listed  in  that  catalogue 
of  forbidden  books  were  like  this  one,  making  the  way  of 
salvation  plain,  its  pages  would  be  illuminated  with  ineffable 
light.' 

§  37.     English  Mystics. 

England,  in  the  fourteenth  century,  produced  devotional 
writings  which  have  been  classed  iu  the  literature  of  mys- 
ticism. They  are  wanting  in  the  transcendental  flights  of 
the  German  mystics,  and  are,  for  the  most  part,  marked  by 
a  decided  practical  tendency. 

1  St5ckl  and  other  Catholics,  though  not  all,  are  bitter  against  the  Theologia 
and  charge  it  with  pantheism.  Bunsen  ranked  it  next  to  the  Bible.  Wink- 
worth's  ed.,  p.  liv. 


296  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

The  Ancren  Riwle  was  written  for  three  sisters  who  lived 
as  anchoresses  at  Tarrant  Kaines,  Dorsetshire.1  It  was  the 
custom  in  their  day  in  England  for  women  living  a  recluse 
life  to  build  a  room  against  the  wall  of  some  church  or  a  small 
structure  in  a  churchyard  and  in  such  a  way  that  it  had  win- 
dows, but  no  doors  of  egress.  This  little  book  of  religious 
counsels  was  written  at  the  request  of  the  sisters,  and  is  usu- 
ally ascribed  to  Simon  of  Ghent,  bishop  of  Salisbury,  d.  1315. 
The  author  gives  two  general  directions,  namely,  to  keep  the 
heart  "  smooth  and  without  any  scar  of  evil,"  and  to  practise 
bodily  discipline,  which  "  serveth  the  first  end,  and  of  which 
Paul  said  that  it  profiteth  little."  The  first  is  the  lady,  the 
second  the  handmaid.  If  asked  to  what  order  they  belonged, 
the  sisters  were  instructed  to  say  to  the  Order  of  St.  James, 
for  James  said,  "  Pure  religion  and  undefiled  before  our  God 
and  Father  is  this :  to  visit  the  fatherless  and  widows  in  their 
affliction  and  to  keep  one's  self  unspotted  from  the  world." 
It  is  interesting  to  note  that  they  are  bidden  to  have  warm 
clothes  for  bed  and  back, and  to  wash  "as  often  as  they  please." 
They  were  forbidden  to  lash  themselves  with  a  leathern 
thong,  or  one  loaded  with  lead  except  at  the  advice  of  their 
confessor.  Richard  Rolle,  d.  1349,  the  author  of  a  number 
of  devotional  treatises,  and  also  translations  or  paraphrases 
of  the  Psalms,  Job,  the  Canticles  and  Jeremiah,  suddenly  left 
Oxford,  where  he  was  pursuing  his  studies,  discontented  with 
the  scholastic  method  in  vogue  at  the  university,  and  finally 
settled  down  as  a  hermit  at  Hampole,  near  Doncaster.  Here 
he  attained  a  high  fame  for  piety  and  as  a  worker  of  miracles. 
He  wrote  in  Latin  and  English,  his  chief  works  being  the 
Latin  treatises,  The  Emendation  of  Life  and  TJie  Fervor  of 
Love.  They  were  translated  in  1434,  1435,  by  Rich  Misyn. 
His  works  are  extant  in  many  manuscript  copies.  Rolle 
exalted  the  contemplative  life,  indulged  in  much  dreamy 
religious  speculation,  but  also  denounced  the  vice  and  world- 
liness  of  his  time.  In  the  last  state  of  the  contemplative 

1  The  Ancren  Riwle,  ed.  by  J.  Morton,  Camden  series,  London,  1868.  See 
W.  R.  Inge,  Studies  inEngl.  Myttics,  London,  1906,  p.  88  sqq. 


§  87.      ENGLISH  MYSTICS.  297 

life  he  represents  man  as  "seeing  into  heaven  with  his 
ghostly  eye."1 

Juliana  of  Norwich,  who  died  1443,  as  it  is  said,  at  the  age  of 
100,  was  also  an  anchoress,  having  her  cell  in  the  churchyard  of 
St.  Julian's  church,  Norwich.  She  received  16  revelations, 
the  first  in  1373,  when  she  was  30  years  old.  At  that  time, 
she  saw  "  God  in  a  point."  She  laid  stress  upon  love,  and 
presented  the  joyful  aspect  of  religion.  God  revealed  Him- 
self to  her  in  three  properties,  life,  light  and  love.  Her 
account  of  her  revelations  is  pronounced  by  Inge  "a  fragrant 
little  book."2 

The  Ladder  of  Perfection,  written  by  Walter  Hylton,  an 
Augustinian  canon  of  Thurgarton,  Nottinghamshire,  who 
died  1396,8  depicts  the  different  stages  of  spiritual  attain- 
ment from  the  simple  knowledge  of  the  facts  of  religion, 
which  is  likened  to  the  water  of  Cana  which  must  be  turned 
into  wine,  to  the  last  stages  of  contemplation  and  divine 
union.  There  is  no  great  excellency,  Hylton  says,  "in  watch- 
ing and  fasting  till  thy  head  aches,  nor  in  running  to  Rome 
or  Jerusalem  with  bare  feet,  nor  in  building  churches  and 
hospitals."  But  it  is  a  sign  of  excellency  if  a  man  can  love 
a  sinner,  while  hating  the  sin.  Those  who  are  not  content 
with  merely  saving  their  souls,  but  go  on  to  the  higher  de- 
grees of  contemplation,  are  overcome  by  "  a  good  darkness," 
a  state  in  which  the  soul  is  free  and  not  distracted  by  any- 
thing earthly.  The  light  then  arises  little  by  little.  Flashes 
come  through  the  chinks  in  the  walls  of  Jerusalem,  but  Jeru- 
salem is  not  reached  by  a  bound.  There  must  be  transfor- 
mation, and  the  power  that  transforms  is  the  love  of  God  shed 

*  C.  Horetman,  Richard  Rolle  of  Hampole,  2  vols.  The  Early  Engl.  Text 
Soc.  publ.  the  Engl.  versions  of  Misyn,  1890.  G.  G.  Perry  edited  his  liturgy 
in  the  vol.  giving  the  York  Breviary,  Surtees  Soc,  The  poem,  Pricke  of  Con- 
science,  was  issued  by  H.  R.  Bramley,  Oxford,  1884.  See  Stephen,  Diet.  Natl. 
Biog.  XLIX.  164-166. 

8  The  Revelations  of  Divine  Love  has  been  ed.  by  R.  F.  S.  Cressy,  London, 
1670,  reprinted  1843 ;  by  H.  Collins,  London,  1817,  and  by  Grace  Warrack. 
3d  ed.  Lond.,  1009.  See  Inge  and  Diet,  of  Natl.  Biog. 

»  Written  in  English,  the  Ladder  was  translated  by  the  Carmelite  friar, 
Thomas  Fyslawe,  into  Latin.  Hylton's  death  is  also  put  in  1433. 


298  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

abroad  in  the  soul.  Love  proceeds  from  knowledge,  and  the 
more  God  is  known,  the  more  is  He  loved.  Hylton's  wide 
reputation  is  proved  by  the  ascription  of  Thomas  a  Kern- 
pis'  Imitation  to  him  and  its  identification  in  manuscripts  with 
his  De  musica  ecclesiastical 

These  writings,  if  we  except  Rolle,  betray  much  of  that 
sobriety  of  temper  which  characterizes  the  English  religious 
thought.  They  contain  no  flights  of  hazy  mystification  and 
no  rapturous  outbursts  of  passionate  feeling.  They  empha- 
size features  common  to  all  the  mystics  of  the  later  Mid- 
dle Ages,  the  gradual  transformation  through  the  power  of 
love  into  the  image  of  God,  and  ascent  through  inward  con- 
templation to  full  fellowship  with  Him.  They  show  that  the 
principles  of  the  imitation  of  Christ  were  understood  on  the 
English  side  of  the  channel  as  well  as  by  the  mystics  of  the 
Lowlands,  and  that  true  godliness  is  to  be  reached  in  another 
way  than  by  the  mere  practice  of  sacramental  rites. 

These  English  pietists  are  to  be  regarded,  however,  as  iso- 
lated figures  who,  so  far  as  we  know,  had  no  influence  in 
preparing  the  soil  for  the  seed  of  the  Reformation  that  was 
to  come,  as  had  the  pietists  who  lived  along  the  Rhine.2 

1  The  Ladder  of  Perfection  was  printed  1494, 1600,  and  has  been  recently 
ed.  by  R.  E.  Guy,  London,  1869,  and  J.  B.  Dalgairns,  London,  1870.     See  Inge, 
pp.  81-124  ;  Montmorency,  Thomas  it  Kempis,  etc.,  pp.  138-174  ;  and  Diet,  of 
Natl.  Biog.,  XXVI.  435  sqq. 

2  Montmorency,  p.  69,  makes  a  remark  for  which,  so  far  as  I  know,  there 
is  no  corroborative  testimony  in  the  writings  of  the  English  Reformers,  that 
"  in  this  English  mystical  movement — of  which  a  vast  imprinted  literature 
survives— is  to  be  found  the  origin  of  Lollardiam  and  of  the  Reformation  in 
England.'9 


CHAPTER  V. 


REFORMERS  BEFORE  THE  REFORMATION. 

§  88.     Sources  and  Literature. 

For  §  89.  CHURCH  AND  SOCIETY  IN  ENGLAND,  ETC.  — THOMAS  WALBINO- 
HAM  :  Hist.  Anglicana,  ed.  by  RILEY,  Rolls  Ser.,  London,  1869.  —WALTER 
DE  HEIMBURGH  :  Chronicon,  ed.  by  HAMILTON,  2  vols.,  1848  sq.  —  ADAM  MERI- 
MUTH  :  Chronicon,  and  ROBT.  DE  AVESBURY  :  De  gestis  mirabilibus  Edwardi 
III.,  ed.  by  THOMPSON  with  Introd.,  Rolls  Ser.,  1889.  —  Chron.  Angliai (1326- 
1388),  ed.  by  THOMPSON,  Rolls  Ser.,  1874.  —  HENRY  KNIGHTON  :  Chronicon, 
ed.  by  LUMBY,  Rolls  Ser.,  2  vols.,  1895.  —  RANULPH  HIGDEN,  d.  bef.  1400: 
Polychronicon,  with  trans,  by  TREVISA,  Rolls  Ser.,  9  vols.,  1806-1886.  — THOS. 
RYMER,  d.  1713:  Feeder  a,  Conventions  et  Litera,  London,  1704-1715. — 
WILKINS  :  Concilia.  —  W.  C.  BLISS  :  Calendar  of  Entries  in  the  Papal  Reg- 
isters relating  to  G.  Britain  and  Ireland,  vols.  IL-IV.,  London,  1897-1902. 
Vol.  II.  extends  from  1806-1342  ;  vol.  III.,  1342-1382 ;  vol.  IV.,  1362-1404. 
A  work  of  great  value.  — GEE  and  HARDY  :  Documents,  etc.  —  H  ADD  AN  and 
STUBBS:  Councils  and  Eccles.  Doc'ts. — STCBBS  :  Constit.  Hist,  of  Engl., 
III.  294-887.  —The  Him.  of  Engl.,  by  LINGARD,  bks.  III.,  IV.,  and  GREEN, 
bk.  IV.  —CAPES  :  The  Engl.  Ch.  in  the  14th  and  15th  Centt.,  London,  1900. 

—  HALLKR:    Papsttum  und  Kirchenreform,  pp.  375-466.  —  JESSOPP:     The 
Coming  of  the  Friars.  —  CREIGHTON  :   Hist,  of  Epidemics  in  England.  — 
GAHQUKT:     The  Great  Pestilence,  1893.  —  RABHDALL  and  others:    Histt.  of 
Oxford  and  Cambridge. —  The  Diet,  of  Nat.  Biog.  —  Also  THOS.  FULLER'S 
Hist,  of  Or.   Brit.,  for  its  general  judgments  and  quaint  statements. — 
LoflERTH :   Studien  zur  Kirchenpolitik  Englands  im  14  Jahrh.  in  Sitzungs- 
berichte  d.  kaiserl.  Akademie  d.  Wissenschaften  in  Wien,  Vienna,  1897.  —  G. 
KRIEHN  :    Studies  in  the  Sources  of  the  Social  Revol.  of  1381,  Am.  Hist 
Rev.,  Jan.-Oct.,  1902.  —  C.  OMAN  :   The  Great  Revolt  in  1381,  Oxford,  1906. 

—  TRAILL:  Social  Engl.,  vol.  II,  London,  1894.—  ROGERS:  Six  Centt.  of 
Work  and  Wages.  — CUNNINGHAM  :   Growth  of  Engl.  Industry. 

For  §§  40-42.  JOHN  WYCLIP.  — I.  The  publication  of  Wyclif  s  works  be- 
longs almost  wholly  to  the  last  twenty-five  years,  and  began  with  the  creation 
of  the  Wyclif  Society,  1882,  which  was  due  to  a  summons  from  German 
scholars.  In  1868,  Shirley,  Fasc.,  p.  xlvi,  could  write,  "Of  Wye's  Engl. 
writings  nothing  but  two  short  tracts  have  seen  the  light,"  and  in  1883, 
Loaerth  spoke  of  his  tractates  "  mouldering  in  the  dust.1'  The  MSS.  are 
found  for  the  most  pan  in  the  libraries  of  Oxford,  Prag  and  Vienna.  The 
Trialogus  was  publ.  Basel,  1625,  and  WycliffJs  Wycket,  in  Engl.,  NUrnberg, 
1646.  Reprinted  at  Oxford,  1828.  —Latin  Works,  ed.  by  the  Wyclif  Soc., 
organized,  1882,  in  answer  to  Buddensieg'i  appeal  in  the  Academy,  Sept  17, 

299 


300  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

1881,  31  vols.,  London,  1884-1907.  —  De  officio  pastorali,  ed.  by  LBCHLEB, 
Leipzig,  1863.  —  Trialogus,  ed.  by  LECHLER,  Oxford,  1809.  —  Z>e  veritate  sac. 
Scriptures,  ed.  by  RUDOLF  BUDDENSIEG,  3  vols.,  Leipzig,  1904.  —  De  potestate 
papae,  ed.  by  LOSERTH,  London,  1907.  —  Engl.  Works  :  Three  Treatises,  by 
J.  WYCLIFFE,  ed.  by  J.  H.  TODD,  Dublin,  1851.  —  *  Select  Engl.  Works,  ed. 
by  THOS.  ARNOLD,  3  vols.,  Oxford,  1809-1871.  —  *  Engl.  Works  Hitherto  Un- 
printed,  ed.  by  F.  D.  MATTHEW,  London,  1880,  with  valuable  Introd. — 
*  WYCLIF'S  trans,  of  the  Bible,  ed.  by  FORSHALL  and  MADDEN,  4  vols. ,  Ox- 
ford, 1860.  —  His  New  Test,  with  Introd.  and  Glossary,  by  W.  W.  SKEAT, 
Cambridge,  1879.  —  The  trans,  of  Job,  Pss.,  Prov.,  Eccles.  and  Canticles, 
Cambridge,  1881.  — For  list  of  Wyclif's  works,  see  CANON  W.  W.  SHIRLEY  : 
Cat.  of  the  Works  of  J.  W.,  Oxford,  1806.  He  lists  90  Latin  and  06  Engl. 
writings. — Also  LECHLER  in  his  Life  of  Wtclif,  II.  65D-673,  Engl,  trans., 
pp.  483-498.  —  Also  Rashdall's  list  in  Diet,  of  Nat.  Biog.  —  ll.  Biographical. 

—  THOMAS  NETTER  of  Walden,  a  Carmelite,  d.  1430 :  Fasciculi  zizaniornm 
Magistri  Joh.  Wyclif  cum  tritico  (Bundles  of  tares  of  J  Wye.  with  the  wheat), 
a  collection  of  indispensable  documents  and  narrations,  ed.  by  SHIRLK^, 
with  valuable  Introd.,    Rolls  Ser.,  London,  1868. —  Also    Doctrinale  fidei 
Christianas  adv.  Wiclcffltas  et  Hussitas  in  his  Opera,  Paris,  1632,  best  ed., 
3  vols. ,  Venice,  1767.     Walden  could  discern  no  defects  in  the  friars,  and 
represented  the  opposite  extreme  from  Wyclif.    He  sat  in  the  Council  of  Pisa, 
was  provincial  of  his  order  in  England,  and  confessor  to  Henry  V.  —  The 
contemporary  works  given  above,  Chron.  Anglice,  Walsingham,  Knighton, 
etc.  —  England  in  the  Time  of  Wycli/e  in  trans,  and  reprints,  Dept.  of  Hist. 
Univ.  of  Pa.,  1895.— JOHN  FOXE  :  Book  of  Martyrs,  London,  1032,  etc.— 
JOHN  LEWIS  :  Hist,  of  the  Life  and  Sufferings  of  J.  W.,  Oxford,  1720,  etc., 
and  1820.  — R.  VAUGHAN  :  Life  and  Opinions  of  J.  dp  Wyrliffe,  2  vols.,  Lon- 
don, 1828,  2d  ed.,  1831.  — V.  LECHLEK  :  J.  von  Widif  und  die  Vorgesch.  der 
Reformation,  2  vols.,  Leipzig,  1873. — *Engl.  trans.,  J.  W  and  his  Engl. 
Precursors,  with  valuable  Notes  by  PETER  LOIUMKR,  2  vols  ,  London,  1878, 
new  edd.,  1  vol.,  1881,  1884.  —  *  R.  BroDENsiEG  .  J    Wiclif  und  seine  Zeit, 
Gotha,  1883.    Also  J.  W.  as  Patriot  and  Reformer,  London,  1884.  —  E.  S. 
HOLT  :  J.  dc  W.,  the  First  Reformer,  and  what  he  did  for  England,  London, 
1884.  — V.  VATTIER  :  J.  W.,  sa  vie,  ses  a>uvres  et  aa  doctrine,  Paris,  1880.  — 
*  J.  LOSBRTH  :  Hus  und  Wiclif,  Prag  and  Leipzig,  1883,  Engl.  trans  ,  London, 
1884.     Also  WSs  Lehre  v.  wahrem  u.  falschem  Papsttum,  in  Hist.  Zeitschrift, 
1907,  p.  237  sqq.  — L.  SERGEANT:   John  Wyclif,  New  York,  1893.  — H.  B. 
WORKMAN  :  The  Age  of  Wyclif,  London,  1901.  —  GEO.  S.  INNES  :  J.  W.,  Cin'ti. 

—  J.  C.  CARRICK  :   Wye.  and  the  Lollards,  London,  1908.  — C.  BIOG,  in  Way- 
side Sketches  in  Eccles.  Hist.,  London,  1900.  —  For  other  Biogg.,  see  SHIRLEY  : 
Fasciculus,  p.  531  sqq.  —III.  J.  L.  POOLE  :   W.  and  Movements  for  Reform, 
London,  1889,  and  W.'B  Doctr.  of  Lordship  in  Illustr.  ofMed.  Thought,  1884.— 
WIEGAND:  De  eccles.  notione  quid  Wiclif  docuer it,  Leipzig,  1891.  — *G.  M. 
TREVELYAN  :  Engl.  in  the  Age  of  W.,  London,  2d  ed.,  1899.  —POWELL  and 
TREVELYAN  :  The  Peasants'  Rising  and  the  Lollards,  London,  1899.  —  H. 
FttRBTENAU  :  J.  von  W:s  Lehren  v.  d.  Stellung  d.  weltl.  Gewalt,  Berlin,  1900. 

—  HADDAN  and  STUBBS  :    Councils  and  Eccles.  Docts.  —  GEE  and  HARDY.  — 
STUBBS:  Constit.  Hist.,  III.  314-374.  —The  Histt.  of  CAPES,  GREEN  and 


§  38.      SOURCES   AND   LITERATURE.  301 

LINGARD,  vol.  IV. —The  Histt.  of  the  Engl.  Bible,  by  EADIE,  WESTCOTT, 
MOITLTON,  STOUOHTON,  MOMBERT,  etc. — MATTHEW:  Authorship  of  the 
Wyclifltie  Bible,  Engl.  Hist.  Rev.,  January,  1896.  —  GASQUET  :  The  Eve  of 
the  Reformation,  new  ed.,  London,  1906  ,  The  Old  Engl.  Bible  and  Other 
Essays,  London,  1908.  —  R.  S.  STORRH  .  J.  Wye.  and  the  First  Engl.  Bible  in 
Sermons  and  Addresses,  Boston,  1902.  An  eloquent  address  delivered  in 
New  York  on  the  600th  anniversary  of  the  appearance  of  WycliP s  New  Test. 

—  RASHDALL    in    Diet,   of  Natl.  Biog.,  LXIII.   202-223.  —  G.   S.   INKIS: 
Wycltfe  Cin«. 

For  §43.  LOLLARDS.  — The  works  noted  above  of  KNIGHTON,  WALSING- 
HAM,  RYMER'S  Foedera,  the  Chron.  Anglics,  WALDEN'S  Fasc  ziz.,  FOXE'S 
Book  of  Martyrs.  Also  ADAM  USK  :  Chronicle.  —  THOB.  WRIGHT:  Polit. 
Poems  and  Songs,  Rolls  Ser.,  2  vols.,  London,  1859.  — FREDERICQ  :  Corp. 
inquis.  Neerl.,  vols.  I.-III.  —  REGINALD  PECOCK  :  The  Repressor  of  overmuch 
Blaming  of  the  Clergy,  ed.  by  BABINOTON,  Rolls  Ser.,  2  vols.,  London,  1860. 

—  The  Histt.  of  Engl.  and  the  Church  of  Engl.  — A.  M.  BROWN  :  Leaders  of 
the  Lollards,   London,  1848.  —  W.  H.  SUMMERS  :    Our  Lollard  Ancestors, 
London,  1904. — *  JAMES  GAIRDNKR:  Lollardy  and  the  Reform,  in  Engl., 
2  vols.,  London,  1908. — E.  I*.  CHKYNEY  :  The  Recantations  of  the  Early 
Lollards,  Am.  Hist.  Rev.,  April,  1899.  -—  H.  S.  CRONIN  :  The  Twelve  Conclu- 
sions of  the  Lollards,  Engl.  Hist.  Rev.,  April,  1907.  —  Art.  Lollarden,  by 
BIDDKNHIKG    in    HsRzoG,  XI.  615-626. — %The  works  of  TREVELYAN  and 
FORBIIALL  and  MADDEN,  cited  above,  and  Oldcastle,  vol.  XLII.  86-93,  and 
other  artt.  in  Diet,  of  Nat.  Biog. 

For  §§  44-46.  JOHN  Hrss.  —  Hist,  et  monumenta  J.  Hus  atque  Hieronymi 
I*ragensis,  confessorum  Christi,  2  vols.,  Nurnberg,  1668,  Frankfurt,  1716.  I 
have  used  the  Frankfurt  ed.  —  W.  FLAJSHANS  .  Mag.  J.  Hus  Expositio  Deca- 
logi,  Prag,  1903;  De  corpore  Christi:  De  sanguine  Christi,  Frag,  1904  ;  Ser- 
mones  de  sanctis,  Prag,  1908 ;  Super  quatuor  sententiarum,  etc.  —  *  FRANCIS 
PA  LACK  Y  •  Docnmenta  Mag.  J.  Hus,  vifam,  tloctrinam,  causam  in  Constan- 
tiensi  actam  consiho  iHustrantia,  1403-1418,  pp.  708,  Prag,  1869.  Largely 
from  unpublished  sources.  Contains  the  account  of  Peter  of  Mladenowitz, 
who  was  with  Huss  at  Constance.  —  K.  J.  ERBEN  (archivanus  of  Prag)  : 
Mistra  Jana  Hiwi  sebrane  spisy  Czeske.  A  collection  of  Huss'  Bohemian 
writings,  3  vols.,  Prag,  1866-1868.  — Trans,  of  Huss'  Letters,  first  by  LUTHER, 
Wittenberg,  1636  (four  of  them,  together  with  an  account  by  Luther  of  Huss* 
trial  and  death),  republ.  by  C.  VON  KUGELGEN,  Leipzig,  1902.  —  MACKENZIE  : 
7/M/w1  Letters,  Edinburgh,  1846.  —  *  H.  B.  WORKMAN  and  R.  M.  POPE  :  Letters 
of  J.  Hus  with  Notes.  —  For  works  on  the  Council  of  Constance,  see  MANSI, 
vol.  XXVIII.,  VAN  DER  HARDT,  FINKE,  RICHENTAL,  etc.,  see  §12.  —  C.  VON 
HOFLEB:  Geschichtsschreiber  der  hussitinchen  Beioegung,  3  vols.,  Vienna, 
1856-1866.  Contains  Mladenowitz  and  other  contemporary  documents. — 
*  I'ALACKT,  a  descendant  of  the  Bohemian  Brethren,  d.  1876  :  Oeschichte  von 
Bohmen,  Prag,  1886  sqq.,  3d  ed.,  6  vols.,  1864  sqq.  Vol.  III.  of  the  first  ed. 
was  mutilated  at  Vienna  by  the  censor  of  the  press  (the  office  not  being 
abolished  till  1848),  on  account  of  the  true  light  in  which  Huss  was  placed. 
Nevertheless,  it  made  such  an  impression  that  Baron  Helfert  was  commis- 
sioned to  write  a  reply,  which  appeared,  Prag,  1867,  pp.  287.  In  1870, 
Palaoky  publ.  a  second  ed.  of  vol.  III.,  containing  all  the  excerpted  parts. 


802  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

—  PALACKT:  Die  Vorlaufer  des  Hussitenthums  in  Btihmen,  Prag,  1869.— 
L.  KOHLER  :  J.  Hus  u.  *.  Zeit,  3  vols.,  Leipzig,  1846.  —  E.  H.  GILLETT,  Prof, 
in  New  York  Univ.,  d.  New  York,  1876  :  Life  and  Times  of  J.  Hues,  2  vols., 
Boston,  1863,  3d  ed.,  1871.  — W.  BBROER  :  J.  Hus  u.  Kdnig  Sigismund, 
Augsburg,  1871.  —  BONNKCHOBK  :  J.  Hus  u.  das  Condi  zu  Kostnitz,  Germ, 
trans.,  3d  ed.,  Leipzig,  1870.  —  F.  v.  BEZOLD  :  Zur  Gesch.  d.  Husitenthums, 
Munich,  1874.  —  E.  DENIS  :  Buss  et  la  guerre  des  Hussites,  Paris,  1878.  — 
A.  H.  WRATJBLAW  :  J.  Hus,  London,  1882.  —  *  J.  LOSERTH  :  Widifand  Hus, 
also  Beitrdge  zur  Oesch.  der  Hussit.  Bewegung,  6  small  vols.,  1877-1896,  re- 
printed from  magazines.  Also  Introd.  to  his  ed.  of  Wielif s  De  ecclesia. 
Also  art.  J.  Huss  in  HERZOO,  Encyc.,  VIII.  473-489.  —  LECHLER  :  J.  Hm, 
Leipzig,  1890.  —  *  J.  H.  WYLIE  :  The  Counc.  of  Constance  to  the  Death  of 
J.  Hus,  London,  1900.  — *  H.  B.  WORKMAN  :  The  Dawn,  of  the  Reformation, 
The  Age  of  Hus,  London,  1902.  —LEA  :  Hist,  of  the  Inquis.,  II.  431-6<J6.— 
Hefele,  vol.  VII.  —  *  J.  B.  SCHWAB  .  J.  Gerson,  pp.  627-609.  —  THCHACKERT  : 
Von  Ailli,  pp.  218-236.  —  W.  FABER  and  J.  KURTH  :  Wie  sah  Hus  aus  f 
Berlin,  1907.  —Also  J.  Huss  by  LttTzow,  N.Y.,  1909,  and  KUHR,  Cin«. 

For  §  47.  THE  HUSSITES.  —  MANSI,  XXVII,  XXIX.  —  HALLER  •  Concil. 
Basiliense.  —  BEZOLD  :  Konig  Sigismund  und  d.  JReichskriege,  gegen  d.  Husi- 
ten,  3  vols,  Munich,  1872-1877.  —  *JAROSLAV  GOLL:  Quellen  und  Unter- 
suchungen  zur  Gesch.  der  Bohmischen  Brtider,  2  vols.,  Pra#,  1878-1882. — 
*  L.  KELLER  :  Die  Reformation  und  die  alteren  Reformparteien,  Leipzig, 
1885.  —  W.  PREOER  :  Ueber  das  Verhdltni**  der  Taboriten  zu  den  Waldesiern, 
des  Ijten  Jahrh.,  1887.  —  HAL'PT:  Waldenserthum  und  Inquisition  im  siid- 
ostlichen  Deutschland,  Freiburg  i.  Br.,  1890. —  H.  HERRE  :  Die  Husiten- 
verhandlungen,  1429,  in  Quellen  u.  Forxchungen  d.  Hist  Inst.  von  Rom, 
1899.—  *K.  MULLER:  Bohm.  Bruder,  HERZOO,  III.  446-467.  — E.  DB 
SCHWEIICITZ  :  The  Hist,  of  the  Church  known  as  the  Unitas  fratrum,  Beth- 
lehem, 1886.  — Also  HERQENROTHER-KIRSCH  :  Kirchengesch. ,  II.  886-903. 


§  39.    The  Church  in  England  in  the  Fourteenth  Century. 

The  14th  century  witnessed  greater  social  changes  in  Eng- 
land than  any  other  century  except  the  19th.  These  changes 
were  in  large  part  a  result  of  the  hundred  years'  war  with 
France,  which  began  in  1337,  and  the  terrible  ravages  of  the 
Black  Death.  The  century  was  marked  by  the  legal  adop- 
tion of  the  English  tongue  as  the  language  of  the  country  and 
the  increased  respect  for  parliament,  in  whose  counsels  the 
rich  burgher  class  demanded  a  voice,  and  its  definite  division 
into  two  houses,  1341.  The  social  unrest  of  the  land  found 
expression  in  popular  harangues,  poems,  and  tracts,  affirming 
the  rights  of  the  villein  and  serf  class,  and  in  the  uprising 
known  as  the  Peasants9  Revolt. 


§  89.   THE  CHURCH  IN  ENGLAND.        308 

The  distinctly  religious  life  of  England,  in  this  period,  was 
marked  by  obstinate  resistance  to  the  papal  claims  of  juris- 
diction, culminating  in  the  Acts  of  Provisors,  and  by  the  ap- 
pearance of  John  Wyclif ,  one  of  the  most  original  and  vigor- 
ous personalities  the  English  Church  has  produced. 

An  industrial  revolution  was  precipitated  on  the  island  by 
the  Great  Pestilence  of  1348.  The  necessities  of  life  rose  enor- 
mously in  value.  Large  tracts  of  land  passed  back  from  the 
smaller  tenants  into  the  hands  of  the  landowners  of  the  gen- 
try class.  The  sheep  and  the  cattle,  as  a  contemporary  wrote, 
"  strayed  through  the  fields  and  grain,  and  there  was  no  one 
who  could  drive  them."  The  serfs  and  villeins  found  in  the 
disorder  of  society  an  opportunity  to  escape  from  the  yoke  of 
servitude,  and  discovered  in  roving  or  in  independent  engage- 
ments the  joys  of  a  new-found  freedom.  These  unsettled  con- 
ditions called  forth  the  famous  statutes  of  Edward  III.'s  reign, 
1327-1377,  regulating  wages  and  the  prices  of  commodities. 

The  popular  discontent  arising  from  these  regulations,  and 
from  the  increased  taxation  necessitated  by  the  wars  with 
France,  took  the  form  of  organized  rebellion.  The  age  of 
feudalism  was  coming  to  an  end.  The  old  ideas  of  labor  and 
the  tiller  of  the  soil  were  beginning  to  give  way  before  more 
just  modes  of  thought.  Among  the  agitators  were  John  Ball, 
whom  Froissart,  with  characteristic  aristocratic  indifference, 
called  "the  mad  priest  of  Kent,"  the  poet  Longland  and  the 
insurgent  leader,  Watt  Tyler.  In  his  harangues,  Ball  fired 
popular  feeling  by  appeals  to  the  original  rights  of  man.  By 
what  right,  he  exclaimed,  "  are  they,  who  are  called  lords, 
greater  folk  than  we  ?  On  what  grounds  do  they  hold  us  in 
vassalage  ?  Do  not  we  all  come  from  the  same  father  and 
mother,  Adam  and  Eve?"  The  spirit  of  individual  freedom 
breathed  itself  out  in  the  effective  rhyme,  which  ran  like  wild- 
fire,— 

When  Adam  delved  and  Ere  span 
Who  was  then  the  gentleman  ? 

The  rhymes,  which  Will  Longland  sent  forth  in  his 
Complaint  of  Pier*  Ploughman^  ventilated  the  sufferings  and 
demands  of  the  day  laborer  and  called  for  fair  treatment  such 


304  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

as  brother  has  a  right  to  expect  from  brother.  Gentleman 
and  villein  faced  the  same  eternal  destinies.  "  Though  he  be 
thine  underling,"  the  poet  wrote,  "  mayhap  in  heaven,  he  will 
be  worthier  set  and  with  more  bliss  than  thou."  The  rising 
sense  of  national  importance  and  individual  dignity  was  fed 
by  the  victory  of  Crecy,  1346,  where  the  little  iron  balls,  used 
for  the  first  time,  frightened  the  horses  ;  by  the  battle  of  Poic- 
tiers  ten  years  later  ;  by  the  treaty  of  Br^tigny,  1360,  whereby 
Edward  was  confirmed  in  the  possession  of  large  portions  of 
France,  and  by  the  exploits  of  the  Black  Prince.  The  specta- 
cle of  the  French  king,  John,  a  captive  on  the  streets  of  Lon- 
don, made  a  deep  impression.  These  events  and  the  legali- 
zation of  the  English  tongue,  1362,1  contributed  to  develop  a 
national  and  patriotic  sentiment  before  unknown  in  England. 

The  uprising,  which  broke  out  in  1381,  was  a  vigorous  as- 
sertion of  the  popular  demand  for  a  redress  of  the  social  in- 
equalities between  classes  in  England.  The  insurgent  bands, 
which  marched  to  London,  were  pacified  by  the  fair  promises 
of  Richard  II.,  but  the  Kentish  band  led  by  Watt  Tyler,  be- 
fore dispersing,  took  the  Tower  and  put  the  primate,  Sudbury, 
to  death.  He  had  refused  to  favor  the  repeal  of  the  hated  de- 
capitation tax.  The  abbeys  of  St.  Albans  and  Edmondsbury 
were  plundered  and  the  monks  ill  treated,  but  these  acts  of 
violence  were  a  small  affair  compared  with  the  perpetual  im- 
port of  the  uprising  for  the  social  and  industrial  well-being  of 
the  English  people.  The  demands  of  the  insurgents,  as  they 
bore  on  the  clergy,  insisted  that  Church  lands  and  goods,  after 
sufficient  allowance  had  been  made  for  the  reasonable  wants 
of  the  clergy,  should  be  distributed  among  the  parishioners, 
and  that  there  should  be  a  single  bishop  for  England.  This 
involved  a  rupture  with  Rome.2 

It  was  inevitable  that  the  Church  should  feel  the  effects  of 
these  changes.  Its  wealth,  which  is  computed  to  have  cov- 

1  Mandeville  composed  his  travels  in  1356  in  French,  and  then  translated 
out  of  French  into  English,  that  every  man  of  his  nation  might  understand. 
Trevisa,  writing  in  1387,  said  that  all  grammar  schools  and  English  children 
"leaveth  French  and  construeth  and  learncth  English. " 

a  See  Krlehn,  Am.  Hist.  Rev.,  pp.  480,  483. 


§  39.      THE  CHURCH   IN   ENGLAND.  305 

ered  one-third  of  the  landed  property  of  the  realm,  and  the 
idleness  and  mendicancy  of  the  friars,  awakened  widespread 
murmur  and  discontent.  The  ravages  made  among  the  clergy 
by  the  Black  Death  rendered  necessary  extraordinary  meas- 
ures to  recruit  its  ranks.  The  bishop  of  Norwich  was  author- 
ized to  replace  the  dead  by  ordaining  60  young  men  before  the 
canonical  age.  With  the  rise  of  the  staples  of  living,  the  sti- 
pends of  the  vast  body  of  the  priestly  class  was  rendered  still 
more  inadequate.  Archbishop  Islip  of  Canterbury  and  other 
prelates,  while  recognizing  in  their  pastorals  the  prevalent  un- 
rest, instead  of  showing  proper  sympathy,  condemned  the  cov- 
etousness  of  the  clergy.  On  the  other  hand,  Longland  wrote 
of  the  shifts  to  which  they  were  put  to  eke  out  a  living  by 
accepting  secular  and  often  menial  employment  in  the  royal 
palace  and  the  halls  of  the  gentry  class. 

Parson  and  parish  priest  pleyued  to  the  bishop, 
That  their  parishes  were  pore  sith  the  pestilence  tym, 
To  have  a  license  and  a  leve  at  London  to  dwelle 
And  Ryu  gen  there  for  symonye,  for  silver  is  swete. 

There  was  a  movement  from  within  the  English  people  to 
limit  the  power  of  the  bishops  and  to  call  forth  spirituality  and 
efficiency  in  the  clergy.  The  bishops,  powerful  as  they  re- 
mained, were  divested  of  some  of  their  prestige  by  the  parlia- 
mentary decision  of  1370,  restricting  high  offices  of  state  to 
laymen.  The  first  lay  chancellor  was  appointed  in  1340.  The 
bishop,  however,  was  a  great  personage,  and  woe  to  the  parish 
that  did  not  make  fitting  preparations  for  his  entertainment 
and  have  the  bells  rung  on  his  arrival.  Archbishop  Arundel, 
Foxe  quaintly  says,  "  took  great  snuff  and  did  suspend  all  such 
as  did  not  receive  him  with  the  noise  of  bells."  Each  diocese 
had  its  own  prison,  into  which  the  bishop  thrust  refractory 
clerics  for  penance  or  severer  punishment. 

The  mass  of  the  clergy  had  little  learning.  The  stalls  and 
canonries,  with  attractive  incomes,  where  they  did  not  go  to 
foreigners,  were  regarded  as  the  proper  prizes  of  the  younger 
sons  of  noblemen.  On  the  other  hand,  the  prelates  lived  in 
abundance.  The  famous  bishop  of  Winchester,  William  of 
Wy keham,  counted  fifty  manors  of  his  own .  In  the  larger  ones, 


806  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

official  residences  were  maintained,  including  hall  and  chapel. 
This  prelate  travelled  from  one  to  the  other,  taking  reckonings 
of  his  stewards,  receiving  applications  for  the  tonsure  and 
ordination  and  attending  to  other  official  business.  Many  of 
the  lower  clergy  were  taken  from  the  villein  class,  whose  sons 
required  special  exemption  to  attend  school.  The  day  they 
received  orders  they  were  manumitted. 

The  benefit  of  clergy,  so  called,  continued  to  be  a  source  of 
injustice  to  the  people  at  large.  By  the  middle  of  the  13th 
century,  the  Church's  claim  to  tithes  was  extended  not  only  to 
the  products  of  the  field,  but  the  poultry  of  the  yard  and  the 
cattle  of  the  stall,  to  the  catch  of  fish  and  the  game  of  the 
forests.  Wills  almost  invariably  gave  to  the  priest  "  the  best 
animal"  or  the  "best  quick  good."  The  Church  received  and 
gave  not  back,  and,  in  spite  of  the  statute  of  Mortmain,  be- 
quests continued  to  be  made  to  her.  It  came,  however,  to  be 
regarded  as  a  settled  principle  that  the  property  of  Church  and 
clergy  was  amenable  to  civil  taxation,  and  bishops,  willingly 
or  by  compulsion,  loaned  money  to  the  king.  The  demands  of 
the  French  campaigns  made  such  taxation  imperative. 

Indulgences  were  freely  announced  to  procure  aid  for  the 
building  of  churches,  as  in  the  case  of  York  Cathedral,  1396, 
the  erection  of  bridges,  the  filling  up  of  muddy  roads  and  for 
other  public  improvements.  The  clergy,  though  denied  the 
right  of  participating  in  bowling  and  even  in  the  pastime  of 
checkers,  took  part  in  village  festivities  such  as  the  Church- 
ale,  a  sort  of  mediaeval  donation  party,  in  which  there  was  gen- 
eral merrymaking,  ale  was  brewed,  and  the  people  drank  freely 
to  the  health  of  the  priest  and  for  the  benefit  of  the  Church. 
As  for  the  morals  of  the  clergy,  care  must  always  be  had  not 
to  base  sweeping  statements  upon  delinquencies  which  are  apt 
to  be  emphasized  out  of  proportion  to  tiieir  extent.  It  is  cer- 
tain, however,  that  celibacy  was  by  no  means  universally  en- 
forced, and  frequent  notices  occur  of  dispensations  given  to 
clergymen  of  illegitimate  birth.  Bishop  Quevil  of  Exeter  com- 
plained that  priests  with  families  invested  their  savings  for  the 
benefit  of  their  marital  partners  and  their  children.  In  the 
next  period,  in  1452,  De  la  Bere,  bishop  of  St.  David's,  by  his 


§  39.   THE  CHURCH  IN  ENGLAND,         807 

own  statement,  drew  400  marks  yearly  from  priests  for  the  priv- 
ilege of  having  concubines,  a  noble,  equal  in  value  to  a  mark, 
from  each  one.1  Gower,  in  his  Vox  clamantis,  gave  a  dark 
picture  of  clerical  habits,  and  charges  the  clergy  with  coarse 
vices  such  as  now  are  scarcely  dreamed  of.  The  Church  his- 
torian, Capes,  concludes  that  "immorality  and  negligence  were 
widely  spread  among  the  clergy."2  The  decline  of  discipline 
among  the  friars,  and  their  rude  manners,  a  prominent  feature 
of  the  times,  came  in  for  the  strictures  of  Fitzralph  of  Armagh, 
severe  condemnation  at  the  hands  of  Wyclif  and  playful  sar- 
casm from  the  pen  of  Chaucer.  The  zeal  for  learning  which 
had  characterized  them  on  their  first  arrival  in  England,  early 
in  the  13th  century,  had  given  way  to  self-satisfied  idleness. 
Fitzralph,  who  was  fellow  of  Balliol,  and  probably  chancellor 
of  the  University  of  Oxford,  before  being  raised  to  the  episco- 
pate, incurred  the  hostility  of  the  friars  by  a  series  of  sermons 
against  the  Franciscan  theory  of  evangelical  poverty.  He 
claimed  it  was  not  scriptural  nor  derived  from  the  customs  of 
the  primitive  Church.  For  his  temerity  he  was  compelled  to 
answer  at  Avignon,  where  he  seems  to  have  died  about  the 
year  I860.8  Of  the  four  orders  of  mendicants,  the  Franciscans, 
Dominicans,  Carmelites  and  Augustinians,  Longland  sang  that 

they 

Preached  the  people  for  profit  and  themselve 

Closed  the  Gospel  as  them  good  lyked, 

For  covetis  of  copis  construed  it  as  they  would. 

Of  the  ecclesiastics  of  the  century,  if  we  except  Wyclif,  prob- 
ably the  most  noted  are  Thomas  Bradwardine  and  William  of 
Wykeham,  the  one  the  representative  of  scholarly  study,  the 
other  of  ecclesiastical  power.  Bradwardine,  theologian,  phi- 

1  Gascoigne,  as  quoted  by  Gairdner :  Lollardy  and  the  Reform.,  I.  262. 

«L  p.  263. 

8  His  Defentio  curatorum  contra  eos  qm  privilegatos  se  dicunt  is  printed  in 
Goldast,  IL  466  sqq.  See  art.  Fitzralph,  by  R.  L.  Poole,  Diet,  of  Nat.  Biog., 
XIX.  194-198.  Four  books  of  Fitzralph's  Depaupene  salvatoris  were  printed 
for  the  first  time  by  Poole  in  his  ed.  of  Wycliffs  De  dominio,  pp.  267-477. 
As  for  libraries,  Fitzralph  says  that  in  every  English  convent  there  was  a  grand 
library.  On  the  other  hand,  the  author  of  the  Philobiblion,  Rich,  de  Bury, 
charges  the  friars  with  losing  their  interest  in  books. 


308  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

losopher,  mathematician  and  astronomer,  was  a  student  at  Mer- 
ton  College,  Oxford,  1325.  At  Avignon,  whither  he  went  to 
receive  consecration  to  the  see  of  Canterbury,  1349,  he  had  a 
strange  experience.  During  the  banquet  given  by  Clement  VI. 
the  doors  were  thrown  open  and  a  clown  entered,  seated  on  a 
jackass,  and  humbly  petitioned  the  pontiff  to  be  made  arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury.  This  insult,  gotten  up  by  Clement's 
nephew  Hugo,  cardinal  of  Tudela,  and  other  members  of  the 
sacred  college,  was  in  allusion  to  the  remark  made  by  the  pope 
that,  if  the  king  of  England  would  ask  him  to  appoint  a  jackass 
to  a  bishopric,  he  would  not  dare  to  refuse.  The  sport  throws 
an  unpleasant  light  upon  the  ideals  of  the  curia,  but  at  the 
same  time  bears  witness  to  the  attempt  which  was  being  made 
in  England  to  control  the  appointment  of  ecclesiastics.  Brad- 
wardine  enjoyed  such  an  enviable  reputation  that  Wyclif  and 
other  English  contemporaries  gave  him  the  title,  the  Profound 
Doctor  —  doctor  profundu*.1  In  his  chief  work  on  grace  and 
freewill,  delivered  as  a  series  of  lectures  at  Merton,  he  declared 
that  the  Church  was  running  after  Pelagius.2  In  the  philo- 
sophical schools  he  had  rarely  heard  any  tiling  about  grace,  but 
all  day  long  the  assertions  that  we  are  masters  of  our  own  wills. 
He  was  a  determinist.  All  things,  he  affirmed,  which  occur, 
occur  by  the  necessity  of  the  first  cause.  In  his  Nun's  Tale, 
speaking  of  God's  predestination,  Chaucer  says :  — 
But  he  cannot  boult  it  to  the  bren 
As  can  the  holie  rloctour,  8.  Austin, 
Or  Boece  (Boethius),  or  the  Bishop  Bradwardine. 

Wykeham,  1324-1404,  the  pattern  of  a  worldly  and  aristo- 
cratic prelate,  was  an  unblushing  pluralist,  and  his  see  of  Win- 
chester is  said  to  have  brought  him  in  £60,000  of  our  money 
annually.  In  1361  alone,  he  received  prebends  in  St.  Paul's, 
Hereford,  Salisbury,  St.  David's,  Beverley,  Bromyard,  Wher- 
well  Abergwili,  and  Llanddewi  Brewi,  and  in  the  following 

1  Wyclif:  De  writ,  «cr.,  I.  30,  109,  etc. 

3  De  causa  Dei  contra  Pelagium  el  de  virtute  cauaarum  ad  suos  Mertinenses, 
ed.  by  Sir  Henry  Saville,  London,  1618.  For  other  works,  see  Seeberg's  art. 
in  Herzog,  III.  360,  and  Stephens  in  Diet,  of  Nat.  Biog.,  VI.  188  sq.  Also 
S.  Hahn,  That.  Bradwardinus,  und  teine  Lehre  von  d.  menschl.  Willens- 
freiheit,  Munster,  1905. 


§  39.   THE  CHURCH  IN  ENGLAND.         309 

year  Lincoln,  York,  Wells  and  Hastings.  He  occupied  for  a 
time  the  chief  office  of  chancellor,  but  fell  into  disrepute.  His 
memory  is  preserved  in  Winchester  School  and  in  New  Col- 
lege, Oxford,  which  he  founded.  The  princely  endowment 
of  New  College,  the  first  stones  of  which  were  laid  in  1387, 
embraced  100  scholarships.  These  gifts  place  Wykeham  in 
the  first  rank  of  English  patrons  of  learning  at  the  side  of 
Cardinal  Wolsey.  He  also  has  a  place  in  the  manuals  of  the 
courtesies  of  life  by  his  famous  words,  "  Manners  makyth 
man."1 

The  struggles  of  previous  centuries  against  the  encroach- 
ment of  Rome  upon  the  temporalities  of  the  English  Church 
was  maintained  in  this  period.  The  complaint  made  by  Mat- 
thew Paris2  that  the  English  Church  was  kept  between  two 
millstones,  the  king  and  the  pope,  remained  true,  with  this 
difference,  however,  the  king's  influence  came  to  preponderate. 
Acts  of  parliament  emphasized  his  right  to  dictate  or  veto 
ecclesiastical  appointments  and  recognized  his  sovereign  pre- 
rogative to  tax  Church  property.  The  evident  support  which 
the  pope  gave  to  France  in  her  wars  with  England  and  the 
scandals  of  the  Avignon  residence  were  favorable  to  the  crown's 
assertion  of  authority  in  these  respects.  Wyclif  frequently 
complained  that  the  pope  and  cardinals  were  "  in  league  with 
the  enemies  of  the  English  kingdom  "  8  and  the  papal  registers 
of  the  Avignon  period,  which  record  the  appeals  sent  to  the 
English  king  to  conclude  peace  with  France,  almost  always 
mention  terms  that  would  have  made  France  the  gainer.  At 
the  outbreak  of  the  war,  1339,  Edward  III.  proudly  complained 
that  it  broke  his  heart  to  see  that  the  French  troops  were  paid 
in  part  with  papal  funds.4 

The  three  most  important  religious  acts  of  England  between 
John's  surrender  of  his  crown  to  Innocent  III.  and  the  Act  of 
Supremacy,  1534,  were  the  parliamentary  statutes  of  Mort- 

1  See  art.  by  Tait  in  Diet,  of  Nat.  Biog.,  LXIII.  226-231. 

*  Rolls  Series,  IV.  669.  8  De  eccles.,  p.  832. 

4  Walsingham,  Hist.  Angl.t  I.  200  sqq.,  and  the  pope's  reply,  p.  208  sqq. 
Benedict  showed  his  complete  devotion  to  the  French  king  when  he  wrote 
that,  if  he  had  two  souls,  one  of  them  should  be  given  for  him.  Quoted  by 
Loserth,  Stud,  zur  Kirchenpol.,  p.  20. 


810  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

main,  1279,  of  Provisory  1351,  and  for  the  burning  of  heretics, 
1401.  The  statute  of  Mortmain  or  Dead-hand  forbade  the 
alienation  of  lands  so  as  to  remove  them  from  the  obligation 
of  service  or  taxation  to  the  secular  power.  The  statute  of 
Provisors,  renewed  and  enlarged  in  the  acts  of  Prsemunire, 
1353, 1390  and  1393,  concerned  the  subject  of  the  papal  rights 
over  appointments  and  the  temporalities  of  the  English  Church. 
This  old  bone  of  contention  was  taken  up  early  in  the  14th 
century  in  the  statute  of  Carlyle,  1307,1  which  forbade  aliens, 
appointed  to  visit  religious  houses  in  England,  taking  moneys 
with  them  out  of  the  land  and  also  the  payment  of  tallages  and 
impositions  laid  upon  religious  establishments  from  abroad. 
In  1343,  parliament  called  upon  the  pope  to  recall  all "  reserva- 
tions, provisions  and  collations  "  which,  as  it  affirmed,  checked 
Church  improvements  and  the  flow  of  alms.  It  further  pro- 
tested against  the  appointment  of  aliens  to  English  livings, 
"some  of  them  our  enemies  who  know  not  our  language." 
Clement  VI.,  replying  to  the  briefs  of  the  king  and  parliament, 
declared  that,  when  he  made  provisions  and  reservations,  it 
was  for  the  good  of  the  Church,  and  exhorted  Edward  to  act 
as  a  Catholic  prince  should  and  to  permit  nothing  to  be  done 
in  his  realm  inimical  to  the  Roman  Church  and  ecclesiastical 
liberty.  Such  liberty  the  pope  said  he  would  "  defend  as  hav- 
ing to  give  account  at  the  last  judgment."  Liberty  in  this 
case  meant  the  free  and  unhampered  exercise  of  the  lordly 
claims  made  by  his  predecessors  from  Hildebrand  down.2 
Thomas  Fuller  was  close  to  the  truth,  when,  defining  papal 
provisions  and  reservations,  he  wrote,  "  When  any  bishopric, 
abbot's  place,  dignity  or  good  living  (aquila  non  capit  musca* 
—  the  eagle  does  not  take  note  of  flies)  was  like  to  be  void, 
the  pope,  by  a  profitable  prolepsis  to  himself,  predisposed  such 
places  to  such  successors  as  he  pleased.  By  this  device  he  de- 
feated, when  he  so  pleased,  the  legal  election  of  all  convents 
and  rightful  presentation  of  all  patrons." 

1  Gee  and  Hardy,  pp.  92-94. 

8  For  the  text  of  the  parliamentary  brief  and  the  king's  letter,  which  was 
written  in  French,  see  Merimuth,  p.  138  sqq.,  163  sqq.,  and  for  Clement's 
reply,  Bliss,  III.,  9  sqq. 


§  39.      THE  CHURCH  IN  ENGLAND.  311 

The  memorable  statute  of  Provisors  forbade  all  papal  pro- 
visions and  reservations  and  all  taxation  of  Church  property 
contrary  to  the  customs  of  England.  The  act  of  1353  sought 
more  effectually  to  clip  the  pope's  power  by  forbidding  the 
carrying  of  any  suit  against  an  English  patron  before  a  for- 
eign tribunal.1 

To  these  laws  the  pope  paid  only  so  much  heed  as  expedi- 
ency required.  This  claim,  made  by  one  of  his  predecessors  in 
the  bull  Cupientes,  to  the  right  to  fill  all  the  benefices  of  Chris- 
tendom, he  had  no  idea  of  abandoning,  and,  whenever  it  was 
possible,  he  provided  for  his  hungry  family  of  cardinals  and 
other  ecclesiastics  out  of  the  proverbially  fat  appointments 
of  England.  Indeed,  the  cases  of  such  appointments  given 
by  Merimuth,  and  especially  in  the  papal  books  as  printed  by 
Bliss,  are  so  recurrent  that  one  might  easily  get  the  impression 
that  the  pontiff's  only  concern  for  the  English  Church  was  to 
see  that  its  livings  were  put  into  the  hands  of  foreigners.  I 
have  counted  the  numbers  in  several  places  as  given  by  Bliss. 
On  one  page,  4  out  of  9  entries  were  papal  appointments.  A 
section  of  2£  pages  announces  "  provisions  of  a  canonry,  with 
expectation  of  a  prebend  "  in  the  following  churches :  7  in 
Lincoln,  5  in  Salisbury,  2  in  Chichester,  and  1  each  in  Wells, 
York,  Exeter,  St.  Patrick's,  Dublin,  Moray,  Southwell,  How- 
den,  Ross,  Aberdeen,  Wilton.2  From  1342-1385  the  deanery 
of  York  was  held  successively  by  three  Roman  cardinals.  In 
1374,  the  incomes  of  the  treasurer,  dean  and  two  archdeaneries 
of  Salisbury  went  the  same  way.  At  the  close  of  Edward 
III.'s  reign,  foreign  cardinals  held  the  deaneries  of  York, 
Salisbury  and  Lichfield,  the  archdeanery  of  Canterbury,  re- 
puted to  be  the  richest  of  English  preferments,  and  innumer- 
able prebends.  Bishops  and  abbots-elect  had  to  travel  to 
Avignon  and  often  spend  months  and  much  money  in  securing 
confirmation  to  their  appointments,  and,  in  cases,  the  prelate- 

1  See  the  texts  of  these  statutes  in  Gee  and  Hardy,  108  sqq.,  112-123. 
With  reference  to  the  renewal  of  the  act  in  1390,  Fuller  quaintly  says:  "It 
mauled  the  papal  power  in  the  land.  Some  former  laws  had  pared  the  pope's 
nails  to  the  quick,  but  this  cut  off  his  fingers.11 

2 II.  346 ;  III.  64  sq.  Prebend  has  reference  to  the  stipend,  canonry  to 
the  office. 


812  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

elect  was  set  aside  on  the  ground  that  provision  had  already 
been  made  for  his  office.  As  for  sees  reserved  by  the  pope, 
Stubbs  gives  the  following  list,  extending  over  a  brief  term 
of  years :  Worcester,  Hereford,  Durham  and  Rochester,  1317 ; 
Lincoln  and  Winchester,  1320 ;  Lichfield,  1322 ;  Winchester, 
1323 ;  Carlisle  and  Norwich,  1325 ;  Worcester,  Exeter  and 
Hereford,  1327;  Bath,  1329;  Durham,  Canterbury,  Win- 
chester and  Worcester,  1334.  Provisions  were  made  in  full 
recognition  of  the  plural  system.  Thus,  Walter  of  London, 
the  king's  confessor,  was  appointed  by  the  pope  to  the  deanery 
of  Wells,  though,  as  stated  in  the  papal  brief,  he  already  held 
a  considerable  list  of  "canonries  and  prebends,"  Lincoln,  Salis- 
bury, St.  Paul,  St.  Martin  Le  Grand,  London,  Hridgenorth, 
Hastings  and  Hareswell  in  the  diocese  of  Salisbury.1  By  the 
practice  of  promoting  bishops  from  one  see  to  another,  the 
pope  accomplished  for  his  favorites  what  he  could  not  have 
done  in  any  other  way.  Thus,  by  the  promotion  of  Sudbury 
in  1374  to  Canterbury,  the  pope  was  able  to  translate  Courte- 
nay  from  Hereford  to  London,  and  Gilbert  from  Bangor  to 
Hereford,  and  thus  by  a  single  stroke  he  was  enriched  by  the 
first-fruits  of  four  sees. 

In  spite  of  legislation,  the  papal  collectors  continued  to  ply 
their  trade  in  England,  but  less  publicly  and  confidently  than 
in  the  two  preceding  centuries.  In  1379,  Urban  VI.  sent  Cos- 
mat us  Gentilis  as  his  nuncio  and  collector-in-chief,with  instruc- 
tions that  he  and  his  subcollectors  make  speedy  returns  to  Rome, 
especially  of  Peter's  pence.2  In  1375,  Gregory  XI.  had  called 
upon  the  archbishops  of  Canterbury  and  York  to  collect  a  tax 
of  60,000  florins  for  the  defence  of  the  lands  of  the  Apostolic 

1  Bliss,  II.  521.  Cases  of  the  payment  of  large  sums  for  appointments  to 
the  pope  and  of  the  disappointed  ecclesiastics-elect  are  given  in  Merimuth, 
pp.  31,  67,  69,  60,  61,  71,  120,  124,  172,  etc.,  Bliss  and  others.  Merimuth, 
p.  67,  etc.,  refers  constantly  to  the  bribery  used  by  such  expressions  as  causa 
pecunialiter  cognita,  and  non  sine  magna  pecunice  quantitate.  In  cases,  the 
pope  renounced  the  right  of  provision,  as  Clement  V.,  hi  1308,  the  livings  held 
incommendam  by  the  cardinal  of  St.  Sabina,  and  valued  at  1000  marks.  See 
Bliss,  II.  48.  For  the  cases  of  agents  sent  by  two  cardinals  to  England  to 
collect  the  incomes  of  their  livings,  and  their  imprisonment,  see  Walsinghain, 
1.260.  *  Bliss,  IV.  267. 


§  39.      THE  CHURCH  IN  ENGLAND.  313 

see,  the  English  benefices,  however,  held  by  cardinals  being  ex- 
empted. The  chronicler  Merimuth,  in  a  noteworthy  paragraph 
summing  up  the  curial  practice  of  foraging  upon  the  English 
sees  and  churches,  emphasizes  the  persistence  and  shrewdness 
with  which  the  Apostolic  chair  from  the  time  of  Clement  V.  had 
extorted  gold  and  riches  as  though  the  English  might  be  treated 
as  barbarians.  John  XXII.  he  represents  as  having  reserved 
all  the  good  livings  of  England.  Under  Benedict  XII.,  things 
were  not  so  bad.  Benedicts  successor,  Clement  VI.,  was  of 
all  the  offenders  the  most  unscrupulous,  reserving  for  himself 
or  distributing  to  members  of  the  curia  the  fattest  places  in 
England.  England's  very  enemies,  as  Merimuth  continues, 
were  thus  put  into  possession  of  English  revenues,  and  the 
proverb  became  current  at  Avignon  that  the  English  were 
like  docile  asses  bearing  all  the  burdens  heaped  upon  them.1 
This  prodigal  Frenchman  threatened  Edward  III.  with  ex- 
communication and  the  land  with  interdict,  if  resistance  to  his 
appointments  did  not  cease  and  if  their  revenues  continued 
to  be  withheld.  The  pope  died  in  1353,  before  the  date  set 
for  the  execution  of  his  wrathful  threat.  While  France  was 
being  made  English  by  English  arms,  the  Italian  and  French 
ecclesiastics  were  making  conquest  of  England's  resources. 

The  great  name  of  Wyclif,  which  appears  distinctly  in  1366, 
represents  the  patriotic  element  in  all  its  strength.  In  his 
discussions  of  lordship,  presented  in  two  extensive  treatises,  he 
set  forth  the  theory  of  the  headship  of  the  sovereign  over  the 
temporal  affairs  of  the  Church  in  his  own  dominions,  even  to 
the  seizure  of  its  temporalities.  In  him,  the  Church  witnessed 
an  ecclesiastic  of  equal  metal  with  Thomas  a  Becket,  a  man, 
however,  who  did  not  stoop,  in  his  love  for  his  order,  to  humili- 
ate the  state  under  the  hand  of  the  Church.  He  represented 
the  popular  will,  the  common  sense  of  mankind  in  regard  to 

1  Inter  curiales  vcrtitur  in  proverbium  quod  Angliti  svnt  boni  asini,  omnia 
onera  eis  imposita  et  intolerabiUa  supportantes.  Merimuth,  p.  176.  To 
these  bunions  imposed  upon  England  by  the  papal  see  were  added,  as  in 
Matthew  Paris*  times,  severe  calamities  from  rain  and  cold.  Merimuth  tells 
of  a  great  flood  in  1339,  when  the  rain  fell  from  October  to  the  first  of  Decem- 
ber, so  that  the  country  looked  like  a  continuous  sea.  Then  bitter  cold  setting 
in,  the  country  looked  like  one  field  of  ice. 


314  THE  MIDDLE  AGES,      A.D.    1294-1517. 

• 

the  province  of  the  Church,  the  New  Testament  theory  of  the 
spiritual  sphere.  Had  he  not  been  practically  alone,  he  would 
have  anticipated  by  more  than  two  centuries  the  limitation  of 
the  pope's  power  in  England. 

§  40.     John  Wyclif. 

u  A  good  man  was  there  of  religioun 
That  was  a  pore  Persone  of  a  town ; 
But  rich  he  was  of  holy  thought  and  werk ; 
He  was  also  a  lerned  man,  a  clerk, 
That  Chrisies  gospel  trewly  wolde  preche. 

****** 
This  noble  ensample  to  his  shepe  he  gaf, 
That  first  he  wrought  and  after  that  he  taught 

****** 
A  better  priest  I  trow  that  nowhere  uon  is, 
He  waited  after  no  pompe  ne  reverence ; 
Ne  maked  him  no  spiced  conscience, 
But  Christes  lore  and  his  apostles  twelve 
He  taught,  but  first  he  folwed  it  hirnselve."  1 

—  CHAUCER. 

The  title,  Reformers  before  the  Reformation,  has  been  aptly 
given  to  a  group  of  men  of  the  14th  and  15th  centuries  who 
anticipated  many  of  the  teachings  of  Luther  and  the  Protestant 
Reformers.  They  stand,  each  by  himself,  in  solitary  promi- 
nence, Wyclif  in  England,  John  Huss  in  Bohemia,  Savonarola 
in  Florence,  and  Wessel,  Goch  and  Wesel  in  Northern  Germany. 
To  these  men  the  sculptor  has  given  a  place  on  the  pedestal  of 
his  famous  group  at  Worms  representing  the  Reformation  of 
the  1 6th  century.  They  differ,  if  we  except  the  moral  reformer, 
Savonarola,  from  the  group  of  the  German  mystics,  who  sought 
a  purification  of  life  in  quiet  ways,  in  having  expressed  open 
dissent  from  the  Church's  ritual  and  doctrinal  teachings.  They 
also  differ  from  the  group  of  ecclesiastical  reformers,  D'Ailly, 
Gerson,  Nicolas  of  Clamanges,  who  concerned  themselves  with 
the  fabric  of  the  canon  law  and  did  not  go  beyond  the  correc- 
tion of  abuses  in  the  administration  and  morals  of  the  Church. 
Wyclif  and  his  successors  were  doctrinal  reformers.  In  some 

1  Often  supposed  to  be  a  description  of  Wyclif. 


§  40.      JOHN   WYCLIF.  315 

views  they  had  been  anticipated  by  Marsiglius  of  Padua  and 
the  other  assailants  of  the  papacy  of  the  early  half  of  the  14th 
century. 

John  Wyclif,  called  the  Morning  Star  of  the  Reformation, 
and,  at  the  time  of  his  death,  in  England  and  in  Bohemia  the 
Evangelical  doctor,1  was  born  about  1324  near  the  village  of 
Wyclif,  Yorkshire,  in  the  diocese  of  Durham.2  His  own  writ- 
ings give  scarcely  a  clew  to  the  events  of  his  career,  and  little 
can  be  gathered  from  his  immediate  contemporaries.  He  was 
of  Saxon  blood.  His  studies  were  pursued  at  Oxford,  which 
had  six  colleges.  He  was  a  student  at  Balliol  and  master  of 
that  hall  in  1361.  He  was  also  connected  with  Merton  and 
Queen's,  and  was  probably  master  of  Canterbury  Hall,  founded 
by  Archbishop  Islip.8  He  was  appointed  in  succession  to  the 
livings  of  Fillingham,  1363,  Ludgershall,  1368,  and  by  the  king's 
appointment,  to  Lutterworth,  1374.  The  living  of  Lutter- 
worth  was  valued  at  £  26  a  year. 

Wyclif  occupies  a  distinguished  place  as  an  Oxford  school- 
man, a  patriot,  a  champion  of  theological  and  practical  reforms 

» Fasciculi,  p.  362. 

9  Leland's  Itinerary  placed  Wyclif 's  birth  in  1324.  Buddensieg  and  Rash- 
dall  prefer  1330.  Leland,  our  first  authority  for  the  place  of  birth,  mentions 
Spresswell  (  Hipgwell)  and  Wyclif-on-Tees,  places  a  half  a  mile  apart.  Wyclif 's 
name  is  spelled  in  more  than  twenty  different  ways,  as  Wiclif,  accepted  by 
Lechler,  Loserth,  Buddensieg  and  German  scholars  generally ;  Wiclef,  Wicliffe, 
Wicleff,  Wycleff,  Wycliffe,  adopted  by  Foxe,  Milman,  Poole,  Stubbs,  Rashdall, 
Bigg;  Wyclif  preferred  by  Shirley,  Matthew,  Sergeant,  the  Wyclif  Society,  the 
Early  English  Text  Society,  etc.  The  form  Wyclif  is  found  in  a  diocesan 
register  of  1361,  when  the  Reformer  was  warden  of  Balliol  College.  The  earliest 
mention  in  an  official  state  document,  July  26, 1374,  gives  it  Wiclif.  On  Wyclif  s 
birthplace,  see  Shirley,  Fasciculi,  p.  x  sqq. 

*  A  Wyclif  is  mentioned  in  connection  with  all  of  these  colleges.  The 
question  is  whether  there  were  not  two  John  Wyclifs.  A  John  de  Whytecly  ve 
was  rector  of  Mayfield,  1301,  and  later  of  Horsted  Kaynes,  where  he  died, 
1383.  In  1366  Islip,  writing  from  Mayfleld,  appointed  a  John  Wyclyve  war- 
den  of  Canterbury  Hall.  Shirley,  Note  on  the  two  Wiclifs,  in  the  Fasciculi, 
p.  618  sqq.,  advocated  the  view  that  this  Wyclif  was  a  different  person  from 
our  John  Wyclif,  and  he  is  followed  by  Poole,  Rashdall  and  Sergeant.  Prin- 
cipal Wilkinson  of  Marlborough  College,  Ch.  Quart.  Rev.,  October,  1877, 
makes  a  strong  statement  against  this  view;  Lechler  and  Buddensieg,  the  two 
leading  German  authorities  on  Wyclif  s  career,  also  admit  only  a  single  Wyclif 
as  connected  with  the  Oxford  Halls. 


316  THB  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

and  the  translator  of  the  Scriptures  into  English.  The  papal 
schism,  occurring  in  the  midst  of  his  public  career,  had  an  im- 
portant bearing  on  his  views  of  papal  authority. 

So  far  as  is  known,  he  confined  himself,  until  1366,  to  his 
duties  in  Oxford  and  his  parish  work.  In  that  year  he  ap- 
pears as  one  of  the  king's  chaplains  and  as  opposed  to  the 
papal  supremacy  in  the  ecclesiastial  affairs  of  the  realm.  The 
parliament  of  the  same  year  refused  Urban  V.'s  demand  for 
the  payment  of  the  tribute,  promised  by  King  John,  which 
was  back  33  years.  John,  it  declared,  had  no  right  to  obli- 
gate the  kingdom  to  a  foreign  ruler  without  the  nation's  con- 
sent. Wyclif,  if  not  a  member  of  this  body,  was  certainly  an 
adviser  to  it.1 

In  the  summer  of  1374,  Wyclif  went  to  Bruges  as  a  member 
of  the  commission  appointed  by  the  king  to  negotiate  peace 
with  France  and  to  treat  with  the  pope's  agents  on  the  filling 
of  ecclesiastical  appointments  in  England.  His  name  was 
second  in  the  list  of  commissioners,  following  the  name  of 
the  bishop  of  Bangor.  At  Bruges  we  find  him  for  the  first 
time  in  close  association  with  John  of  Guunt,  Edward's  fa- 
vorite son,  an  association  which  continued  for  several  years, 
and  for  a  time  inured  to  his  protection  from  ecclesiastical 
violence.2 

On  his  return  to  England,  he  began  to  speak  as  a  religious 
reformer.  He  preached  in  Oxford  and  London  against  the 
pope's  secular  sovereignty,  running  about,  as  the  old  chroni- 
cler has  it,  from  place  to  place,  and  barkingagainst  the  Church.3 
It  was  soon  after  this  that,  in  one  of  his  tracts,  he  styled  the 
bishop  of  Rome  "  the  anti-Christ,  the  proud,  worldly  priest  of 
Rome,  and  the  most  cursed  of  clippers  and  cut-purses."  He 
maintained  that  he  "  has  no  more  power  in  binding  and  loos- 

1  So  Lechler,  who  advances  strong  arguments  in  favor  of  this  view.    Lo- 
serth,  who  is  followed  by  Rashdall,  brings  considerations  against  it,  and  places 
Wyclif 'a  first  appearance  as  a  political  reformer  in  1376.     Studien  zur  Kirch- 
cnpol.,  etc.,  pp.  1,  32,  35,  44,  60.     A  serious  difficulty  with  this  view  is  that 
it  crowds  almost  all  the  Reformer's  writings  into  7  years. 

2  John  of  Gaunt,  duke  of  Lancaster,  was  the  younger  brother  of  the  Black 
Prince.    The  prince  had  returned  from  his  victories  in  France  to  die  of  an 
incurable  disease.  *  Chron.  Angl. ,  p.  1 16  sq. 


§  40,      JOHN  WYCLIF.  317 

ing  than  any  priest,  and  that  the  temporal  lords  may  seize  the 
possessions  of  the  clergy  if  pressed  by  necessity."  The  duke 
of  Lancaster,  the  clergy's  open  foe,  headed  a  movement  to 
confiscate  ecclesiastical  property.  Piers  Ploughman  had  an 
extensive  public  opinion  behind  him  when  he  exclaimed,  "Take 
her  lands,  ye  Lords,  and  let  her  live  by  dimes  (tithes)."  The 
Good  Parliament  of  1376,  to  whose  deliberation  Wyclif  con- 
tributed by  voice  and  pen,  gave  emphatic  expression  to  the 
public  complaints  against  the  hierarchy. 

The  Oxford  professor's  attitude  had  become  too  flagrant 
to  be  suffered  to  go  unrebuked.  In  1377,  he  was  summoned 
before  the  tribunal  of  William  Courtenay,  bishop  of  London,  at 
St.  Paul's,  where  the  proceedings  opened  with  a  violent  alter- 
cation between  the  bishop  and  the  duke.  The  question  was 
as  to  whether  Wyclif  should  take  a  seat  or  continue  standing 
in  the  court.  Percy,  lord  marshal  of  England,  ordered  him 
to  sit  down,  a  proposal  the  bishop  pronounced  an  unheard-of 
indignity  to  the  court.  At  this,  Lancaster,  who  was  present, 
swore  he  would  bring  down  Courtenay's  pride  and  the  pride 
of  all  the  prelates  in  England.  "Do  your  best,  Sir,"  was 
the  spirited  retort  of  the  bishop,  who  was  a  son  of  the  duke 
of  Devonshire.  A  popular  tumult  ensued,  Wyclif  being  pro- 
tected by  Lancaster. 

Pope  Gregory  XI.  himself  now  took  notice  of  the  offender 
in  a  document  condemning  19  sentences  from  his  writings  as 
erroneous  and  dangerous  to  Church  and  state.  In  fact,  he 
issued  a  batch  of  at  least  five  bulls,  addressed  to  the  archbishop 
of  Canterbury,  the  bishop  of  London,  the  University  of  Ox- 
ford and  the  king,  Edward  III.  The  communication  to  Arch- 
bishop Sudbury  opened  with  an  unctuous  panegyric  of  Eng- 
land's past  most  glorious  piety  and  the  renown  of  its  Church 
leaders,  champions  of  the  orthodox  faith  and  instructors  not 
only  of  their  own  but  of  other  peoples  in  the  path  of  the 
Lord's  commandments.  But  it  had  come  to  his  ears  that  the 
Lutterworth  rector  had  broken  forth  into  such  detestable 
madness  as  not  to  shrink  from  publicly  proclaiming  false  prop- 
ositions which  threatened  the  stability  of  the  entire  Church. 
His  Holiness,  therefore,  called  upon  the  archbishop  to  have 


318  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

John  sent  to  prison  and  kept  in  bonds  till  final  sentence 
should  be  passed  by  the  papal  court.1  It  seems  that  the  vice- 
chancellor  of  Oxford  at  least  made  a  show  of  complying  with 
the  pope's  command  and  remanded  the  heretical  doctor  to 
Black  Hall,  but  the  imprisonment  was  only  nominal. 

Fortunately,  the  pope  might  send  forth  his  f ulminations  to 
bind  and  imprison  but  it  was  not  wholly  in  his  power  to  hold 
the  truth  in  bonds  and  to  check  the  progress  of  thought.  In 
his  letter  to  the  chancellor  of  Oxford,  Gregory  alleged  that 
Wyclif  was  vomiting  out  of  the  filthy  dungeon  of  his  heart 
most  wicked  and  damnable  heresies,  whereby  he  hoped  to  pol- 
lute the  faithful  and  bring  them  to  the  precipice  of  perdition, 
overthrow  the  Church  and  subvert  the  secular  estate.  The 
disturber  was  put  into  the  same  category  with  those  princes 
among  errorists,  Marsiglius  of  Padua  and  John  of  Jandun.2 

The  archbishop's  court  at  Lambeth,  before  which  the  of- 
fender was  now  cited,  was  met  by  a  message  from  the  widow 
of  the  Black  Prince  to  stay  the  proceedings,  and  the  sitting 
was  effectually  broken  up  by  London  citizens  who  burst  into 
the  hall.  At  Oxford,  the  masters  of  theology  pronounced  the 
nineteen  condemned  propositions  true,  though  they  sounded 
badly  to  the  ear.  A  few  weeks  later,  March,  1878,  Gregory 
died,  and  the  papal  schism  broke  out.  No  further  notice  was 
taken  of  Gregory's  ferocious  bulls.  Among  other  things,  the 
nineteen  propositions  affirmed  that  Christ's  followers  have  no 
right  to  exact  temporal  goods  by  ecclesiastical  censures,  that 
the  excommunications  of  pope  and  priest  are  of  no  avail  if  not 
according  to  the  law  of  Christ,  that  for  adequate  reasons  the 
king  may  strip  the  Church  of  temporalities  and  that  even  a 
pope  may  be  lawfully  impeached  by  laymen. 

With  the  year  1378  Wyclif  s  distinctive  career  as  a  doctri- 
nal reformer  opens.  He  had  defended  English  rights  against 
foreign  encroachment.  He  now  assailed,  at  a  number  of  points, 
the  theological  structure  the  Schoolmen  and  mediaeval  popes 
had  laboriously  reared,  and  the  abuses  that  had  crept  into 
the  Church.  The  spectacle  of  Christendom  divided  by  two 
papal  courts,  each  fulminating  anathemas  against  the  other,  was 

'  Gee  and  Hardy,  p.  106  sqq.  *  JPVuc.,  pp.  242-244. 


§  40.      JOHN  WYCLIF.  319 

enough  to  shake  confidence  in  the  divine  origin  of  the  papacy. 
In  sermons,  tracts  and  larger  writings,  Wyclif  brought  Scrip- 
ture and  common  sense  to  bear.  His  pen  was  as  keen  as  a  Damas- 
cus blade.  Irony  and  invective,  of  which  he  was  the  master,  he 
did  not  hesitate  to  use.  The  directness  and  pertinency  of  his  ap- 
peals brought  them  easily  within  the  comprehension  of  the  popu- 
lar mind.  He  wrote  not  only  in  Latin  but  in  English.  /His 
conviction  was  as  deep  and  his  passion  as  fiery  as  Luther's,  but 
on  the  one  hand,  Wyclif  s  style  betrays  less  of  the  vivid  illus- 
trative power  of  the  great  German  and  little  of  his  sympathetic 
warmth,  while  on  the  other,  less  of  his  unfortunate  coarseness. 
As  Luther  is  the  most  vigorous  tract  writer  that  Germany  has 
produced,  so /Wyclif  is  the  foremost  religious  pamphleteer 
that  has  arisen  in  England ;  and  the  impression  made  by  his 
clear  and  stinging  thrusts  may  be  contrasted  in  contents  and 
audience  with  the  scholarly  and  finished  tracts  of  the  Oxford 
movement  led  by  Pusey,  Keble  and  Newman,  the  one  reach- 
ing the  conscience,  the  other  appealing  to  the  aesthetic  tastes ; 
the  one  adapted  to  break  down  priestly  pretension,  the  other 
to  foster  it. 

But  the  Reformer  of  the  14th  century  was  more  than  a 
scholar  and  publicist.  Like  John  Wesley,  he  had  a  prac- 
tical bent  of  mind,  and  like  him  he  attempted  to  provide 
England  with  a  new  proclamation  of  the  pure  Gospel.  To 
counteract  the  influence  of  the  friars,  whom  he  had  begun  to 
attack  after  his  return  from  Bruges,  he  conceived  the  idea  of 
developing  and  sending  forth  a  body  of  itinerant  evangelists. 
These  "  pore  priests,"  as  they  were  called,  were  taken  from 
the  list  of  Oxford  graduates,  and  seem  also  to  have  included 
laymen.  Of  their  number  and  the  rules  governing  them,  we 
are  in  the  dark.  The  movement  was  begun  about  1380,  and 
on  the  one  side  it  associates  Wyclif  with  Gerrit  de  Groote, 
and  on  the  other  with  Wesley  and  with  his  more  recent  fel- 
low-countryman, General  Booth,  of  the  Salvation  Army. 

Although  this  evangelistic  idea  took  not  the  form  of  a  per- 
manent organization,  the  appearance  of  the  pore  preachers 
made  a  sensation.  /According  to  the  old  chronicler,  the  dis- 
ciples who  gathered  around  him  in  Oxford  were  many  and, 


320  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1204-1517. 

clad  in  long  russet  gowns  of  one  pattern,  they  went  on  foot, 
ventilating  their  master's  errors  among  the  people  and  pub- 
licly setting  them  forth  in  sermons.1  They  had  the  distinc- 
tion of  being  arraigned  by  no  less  a  personage  than  Bishop 
Courtenay  "as  itinerant,  unauthorized  preachers  who  teach  er- 
roneous, yea,  heretical  assertions  publicly,  not  only  in  churches 
but  also  in  public  squares  and  other  profane  places,  and  who 
do  this  under  the  guise  of  great  holiness,  but  without  having 
obtained  any  episcopal  or  papal  authorization." 

It  was  in  1381,  the  year  before  Courtenay  said  his  memora- 
ble words,  that  Walden  reports  that  Wyclif  "  began  to  deter- 
mine matters  upon  the  sacrament  of  the  altar."  a  To  attempt 
an  innovation  at  this  crucial  point  required  courage  of  the 
highest  order.  In  12  theses  he  declared  the  Church's  doc- 
trine unscriptural  and  misleading.  For  the  first  time  since 
the  promulgation  of  the  dogma  of  transubstantiation  by  the 
Fourth  Lateran  was  it  seriously  called  in  question  by  a  theo- 
logical expert.  It  was  a  case  of  Athanasius  standing  alone. 
The  mendicants  waxed  violent.  Oxford  authorities,  at  the 
instance  of  the  archbishop  and  bishops,  instituted  a  trial,  the 
court  consisting  of  Chancellor  Berton  and  12  doctors.  With- 
out mentioning  Wyclif  by  name,  the  judges  condemned  as  pes- 
tiferous the  assertions  that  the  bread  and  wine  remain  after 
consecration,  and  that  Christ's  body  is  present  only  figuratively 
or  tropically  in  the  eucharist.  Declaring  that  the  judges  had 
not  been  able  to  break  down  his  arguments,  Wyclif  went  on 
preaching  and  lecturing  at  the  university.  But  in  the  king's 
council,  to  which  he  made  appeal,  the  duke  of  Lancaster  took 
sides  against  him  and  forbade  him  to  speak  any  more  on  the 
subject  at  Oxford.  This  prohibition  Wyclif  met  with  a  still 
more  positive  avowal  of  his  views  in  his  Cor^featsion^  which 
closes  with  the  noble  words,  "  I  believe  that  in  the  end  the 
truth  will  conquer." 

The  same  year,  the  Peasants'  Revolt  broke  out,  but  there 
is  no  evidence  that  Wyclif  had  any  more  sympathy  with 
the  movement  than  Luther  had  with  the  Peasants'  Rising  of 
1525.  After  the  revolt  was  over,  he  proposed  that  Church 

1  Chron.  AngL,  p.  396 ;  also  Knighton,  II.  184  sq.  '  Fa$c.,  p.  104. 


§  40.      JOHN    WYCLIF.  321 

property  be  given  to  the  upper  classes,  not  to  the  poor.1  The 
principles,  however,  which  he  enunciated  were  germs  which 
might  easily  spring  up  into  open  rebellion  against  oppression. 
Had  he  not  written,  "  There  is  no  moral  obligation  to  pay 
tax  or  tithe  to  bad  rulers  either  in  Church  or  state.  It  is 
permitted  to  punish  or  depose  them  and  to  reclaim  the  wealth 
which  the  clergy  have  diverted  from  the  poor ''  ?  One  hundred 
and  fifty  years  after  this  time,  Tyndale  said,  "  They  said  it 
in  Wyclif 's  day,  and  the  hypocrites  say  now,  that  God's  Word 
arouseth  insurrection."2 

Courtenay's  elevation  to  the  see  of  Canterbury  boded  no  good 
to  the  Reformer.  In  1382,  he  convoked  the  synod  which  is 
known  in  English  history  as  the  Earthquake  synod,  from  the 
shock  felt  during  its  meetings.  The  primate  was  supported 
by  9  bishops,  and  when  the  earth  began  to  tremble,  he  showed 
admirable  courage  by  interpreting  it  as  a  favorable  omen.  The 
earth,  in  trying  to  rid  itself  of  its  winds  and  humors,  was  mani- 
festing its  sympathy  with  the  body  ecclesiastic.8  Wyclif,  who 
was  not  present,  made  another  use  of  the  occurrence,  and  de- 
clared that  the  Lord  sent  the  earthquake  "  because  the  friars 
had  put  heresy  upon  Christ  in  the  matter  of  the  sacrament,  and 
the  earth  trembled  as  it  did  when  Christ  was  damned  to  bodily 
death."* 

The  council  condemned  24  articles,  ascribed  to  the  Reformer, 
10  of  which  were  pronounced  heretical,  and  the  remainder  to 
be  against  the  decisions  of  the  Church.5  The  4  main  sub- 
jects condemned  as  heresy  were  that  Christ  is  not  corporally 
present  in  the  sacrament,  that  oral  confession  is  not  necessary 
for  a  soul  prepared  to  die,  that  after  Urban  VI.  's  death  the  Eng- 
lish Church  should  acknowledge  no  pope  but,  like  the  Greeks, 
govern  itself,  and  that  it  is  contrary  to  Scripture  for  ecclesias- 
tics to  hold  temporal  possessions.  Courtenay  followed  up 
the  synod's  decisions  by  summoning  Rygge,  then  chancellor 

i  See  Trevelyan,  p.  199 ;  Kriehn,  pp.  264-286,  458-485. 
1  Pref .  to  Expos,  of  St.  John,  p.  226,  Parker  Soc.  ed. 
•  Sicut  in  terras  visceribus  includuntur  air  et  spiritus  infecti  et  ingrediuntur 
in  terra  motum,  Fasc.,  p.  272. 

4  Select  Sngl.  Works,  III.  603.  •  Gee  and  Hardy,  pp.  108-110. 


322  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

of  Oxford,  to  suppress  the  heretical  teachings  and  teachers. 
Ignoring  the  summons,  Rygge  appointed  Repyngdon,  another 
of  Wyclif  s  supporters,  to  preach,  and  when  Peter  Stokys, 
"a  prof essor  of  the  sacred  page,"  armed  with  a  letter  from  the 
archbishop,  attempted  to  silence  him,  the  students  and  tutors 
at  Oxford  threatened  the  Carmelite  with  their  drawn  swords. 

But  Courtenay  would  permit  no  trifling  and,  summoning 
Rygge  and  the  proctors  to  Lambeth,  made  them  promise  on 
their  knees  to  take  the  action  indicated.  Parliament  sup- 
ported the  primate.  The  new  preaching  was  suppressed,  but 
Wyclif  stood  undaunted.  He  sent  a  Complaint  of  4  articles  to 
the  king  and  parliament,  in  which  he  pleaded  for  the  supremacy 
of  English  law  in  matters  of  ecclesiastical  property,  for  the 
liberty  for  the  friars  to  abandon  the  rules  of  their  orders  and 
follow  the  rule  of  Christ,  and  for  the  view  that  on  the  Lord's 
table  the  real  bread  and  wine  are  present,  and  not  merely  the 
accidents.1 

The  court  was  no  longer  ready  to  support  the  Reformer, 
and  Richard  II.  sent  peremptory  orders  to  Rygge  to  suppress 
the  new  teachings.  Courtenay  himself  went  to  Oxford,  and 
there  is  some  authority  for  the  view  that  Wyclif  again  met 
the  prelate  face  to  face  at  St.  Frideswides.  Rigid  inquisi- 
tion was  made  for  copies  of  the  condemned  teacher's  writings 
and  those  of  Hereford.  Wyclif  was  inhibited  from  preaching, 
and  retired  to  his  rectory  at  Lutterworth.  Hereford,  Repyng- 
don, Aston  and  Bedeman,  his  supporters,  recanted.  The  whole 
party  received  a  staggering  blow  and  with  it  liberty  of  teaching 
at  Oxford.2 

Confined  to  Lutterworth,  Wyclif  continued  his  labors  on  the 
translation  of  the  Bible,  and  sent  forth  polemic  tracts,  includ- 
ing the  Cruciata?  a  vigorous  condemnation  of  the  crusade  which 
the  bishop  of  Norwich,  Henry  de  Spenser,  was  preparing  in 
support  of  Urban  VI.  against  the  Avignon  pope,  Clement  VII. 
The  warlike  prelate  had  already  shown  his  military  gifts  dur- 
ing the  Peasants'  Uprising.  Urban  had  promised  plenary 

1  Select  Engl  Writings,  III.  607-523. 

*  Jfa«c.,  pp.  272-833.    See  Shirley,  p.  xliv. 

•  Latin  Works,  II.  677  sqq. 


§  40.      JOHN   WYCLIF.  328 

indulgence  for  a  year  to  all  joining  the  army.  Mass  was  said 
and  sermons  preached  in  the  churches  of  England,  and  large 
sums  collected  for  the  enterprise.  The  indulgence  extended 
to  the  dead  as  well  as  to  the  living.  Wyclif  declared  the  cru- 
sade an  expedition  for  worldly  mastery,  and  pronounced  the 
indulgence  "  an  abomination  of  desolation  in  the  holy  place." 
Spenser's  army  reached  the  Continent,  but  the  expedition  was 
a  failure.  The  most  important  of  Wyclif  s  theological  trea- 
tises, the  Trialogus,  was  written  in  this  period.  It  lays  down 
the  principle  that,  where  the  Bible  and  the  Church  do  not  agree, 
we  must  obey  the  Bible,  and,  where  conscience  and  human  au- 
thority are  in  conflict,  we  must  follow  conscience.1 

Two  years  before  his  death,  Wyclif  received  a  paralytic  stroke 
which  maimed  but  did  not  completely  disable  him.  It  is  pos- 
sible that  he  received  a  citation  to  appear  before  the  pope.  With 
unabated  rigor  of  conviction,  he  replied  to  the  supreme  pontiff 
that  of  all  men  he  was  most  under  obligation  to  obey  the  law 
of  Christ,  that  Christ  was  of  all  men  the  most  poor,  and  sub- 
ject to  mundane  authority.  No  Christian  man  has  a  right  to 
follow  Peter,  Paul  or  any  of  the  saints  except  as  they  imitated 
Christ.  The  pope  should  renounce  all  worldly  authority  and 
compel  his  clergy  to  do  the  same.  He  then  asserted  that,  if 
in  these  views  he  was  found  to  err,  he  was  willing  to  be  cor- 
rected, even  by  death.  If  it  were  in  his  power  to  do  anything 
to  advance  these  views  by  his  presence  in  Rome,  he  would  will- 
ingly go  thither.  But  God  had  put  an  obstacle  in  his  way,  and 
had  taught  him  to  obey  Him  rather  than  man.  He  closed  with 
the  prayer  that  God  might  incline  Urban  to  imitate  Christ  in 
his  life  and  teach  his  clergy  to  do  the  same. 

While  saying  mass  in  his  church,  he  was  struck  again  with 
paralysis,  and  passed  away  two  or  three  days  after,  Dec.  29, 
1384,  "having  lit  a  fire  which  shall  never  be  put  out."2 

1  Fasc.,  p.  841  eq. ;  Lechler-Lorimer,  p.  417,  deny  the  citation.  The  reply 
is  hardly  what  we  might  have  expected  from  Wyclif,  confining  itself,  as  it  does, 
rather  curtly  to  the  question  of  the  pope's  authority  and  manner  of  life.  Luther* s 
last  treatment  of  the  pope,  Der  Papst  der  Ende-Chrtet  und  Wider  Christ,  is  not 
a  full  parallel.  Wyclif  was  independent,  not  coarse. 

1  The  most  credible  narrative  preserved  of  Wyclif  s  death  comes  from  John 
Horn, 'the  Reformer's  assistant  for  two  yean,  and  was  written  down  by  Dr. 


824  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1517. 

Fuller,  writing  of  his  death,  exclaims,  "Admirable  that  a  hare, 
so  often  hunted  with  so  many  packs  of  dogs,  should  die  quietly 
sitting  in  his  form." 

Wyclif  was  spare,  and  probably  never  of  robust  health,  but  he 
was  not  an  ascetic.  He  was  fond  of  a  good  meal.  In  temper 
he  was  quick,  in  mind  clear,  in  moral  character  unblemished. 
Towards  his  enemies  he  was  sharp,  but  never  coarse  or  ribald. 
William  Thorpe,  a  young  contemporary  standing  in  the  court 
of  Archbishop  Arundel,  bore  testimony  that  "he  was  ema- 
ciated in  body  and  well-nigh  destitute  of  strength,  and  in  con- 
duct most  innocent.  Very  many  of  the  chief  men  of  England 
conferred  with  him,  loved  him  dearly,  wrote  down  his  say- 
ings and  followed  his  manner  of  life."  l 

The  prevailing  sentiment  of  the  hierarchy  was  given  by 
Walsingham,  chronicler  of  St.  Albans,  who  characterized  the 
Reformer  in  these  words  :  "  On  the  feast  of  the  passion  of  St. 
Thomas  of  Canterbury,  John  de  Wyclif,  that  instrument  of  the 
devil,  that  enemy  of  the  Church,  that  author  of  confusion  to  the 
common  people,  that  image  of  hypocrites,  that  idol  of  heretics, 
that  author  of  schism,  that  sower  of  hatred,  that  coiner  of  lies, 
being  struck  with  the  horrible  judgment  of  God,  was  smitten 
with  palsy  and  continued  to  live  till  St.  Sylvester's  Day,  on 
which  he  breathed  out  his  malicious  spirit  into  the  abodes  of 
darkness." 

The  dead  was  not  left  in  peace.  By  the  decree  of  Arundel, 
Wyclif 's  writings  were  suppressed,  and  it  was  so  effective  that 
Caxton  and  the  first  English  printers  issued  no  one  of  them 
from  the  press.  The  Lateran  decree  of  February,  1413,  ordered 
his  books  burnt,  and  the  Council  of  Constance,  from  whose 

Thomas  Gascoigne  upon  Horn's  sworn  statement.  Walden  twice  makes  the 
charge  that  disappointment  at  not  being  appointed  bishop  of  Worcester  started 
Wyclif  on  the  path  of  heresy,  but  there  is  no  other  authority  for  the  story,  which 
is  inherently  improbable.  Lies  were  also  invented  against  the  memories  of 
Luther,  Calvin  and  Knoz,  which  the  respectable  Catholic  historians  set  aside. 
1  Bale,  in  his  account  of  the  Examination  of  Thorpe,  Parker  Soc.  ed.,  I. 
80-81.  The  biographies  of  Lewis,  Vaughan,  Lorimer  and  Sergeant  give  por- 
traits of  Wyclif.  The  oldest,  according  to  Sergeant,  pp.  16-21,  is  taken  from 
Bale's  Summary,  1648.  There  is  a  resemblance  in  all  the  portraits,  which  rep- 
resent the  Reformer  clothed  in  Oxford  gown  and  cap,  with  long  beard,  open 
face,  clear,  large  eye,  prominent  nose  and  cheek  bones  and  pale  complexion. 


§  41.    WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS.  325 

members,  such  as  Gerson  and  D'Ailly,  we  might  have  expected 
tolerant  treatment,  formally  condemned  his  memory  and  or- 
dered his  bones  exhumed  from  their  resting-place  and  "  cast 
at  a  distance  from  the  sepulchre  of  the  church."  The  holy 
synod,  so  ran  the  decree,  "declares  said  John  Wyclif  to  have 
been  a  notorious  heretic,  and  excom  municates  him  and  condemns 
his  memory  as  one  who  died  an  obstinate  heretic." l  In  1429, 
at  the  summons  of  Martin  IV.,  the  decree  was  carried  out  by 
Flemmyng,  bishop  of  Lincoln. 

The  words  of  Fuller,  describing  the  execution  of  the  decree 
of  Constance,  have  engraven  themselves  on  the  page  of  English 
history.  "  They  burnt  his  bones  to  ashes  and  cast  them  into 
Swift,  a  neighboring  brook  running  hard  by.  Thus  this  brook 
hath  conveyed  his  ashes  into  Avon,  Avon  into  Severn,  Severn 
into  the  narrow  seas,  they  into  the  main  ocean.  And  thus  the 
ashes  of  Wicliffe  are  the  emblem  of  his  doctrine,  which  now  is 
dispersed  the  world  over." 

In  the  popular  judgment  of  the  English  people,  John  Wyclif, 
in  company  with  John  Latimerand  John  Wesley,  probably  rep- 
resents more  fully  than  any  other  English  religious  leader,  in- 
dependence of  thought,  devotion  to  conscience,  solid  religious 
common  sense,  and  the  sound  exposition  of  the  Gospel.  In  the 
history  of  the  intellectual  and  moral  progress  of  his  people,  he 
was  the  leading  Englishman  of  the  Middle  Ages.2 

§  41.    Wyclif  a  Teachings. 

Wyclif  fs  teachings  lie  plainly  upon  the  surface  of  his  many 
writings.  In  each  one  of  the  eminent  roles  he  played,  as  school- 

1 A  part  of  the  sentence  runs,  Sancta  synodus  declarat  diffinU  et  sentential 
eumdem  J.  Wicleff  fuisse  notorium  hasreticum  pertinacem  et  in  haresi  de- 
cessisse.  .  .  ordinat  corpus  etejusossa,  si  abaliisfldelibuscorporibusdiscernt 
possint,  exhumari  etprocul  ab  ecclesiae  sepultura  jactart.  Mansi,  XXVII.  635. 

2  Green,  in  his  Hist,  of  the  EngL  People,  passes  a  notable  encomium  on  the 
"  first  Reformer/'  and  the  late  Prof.  Bigg,  Wayside  Sketches,  p.  131,  asserts 
"  that  his  beliefs  are  in  the  main  those  of  the  great  majority  of  Englishmen 
to-day,  and  this  is  a  high  proof  of  the  Justice,  the  clearness  and  the  sincerity 
of  his  thoughts.1'  The  Catholic  historian  of  England,  Lingard,  IV.  102,  after 
speaking  of  Wyclif  s  intellectual  perversion,  refers  to  him,  uas  that  extraor- 
dinary man  who,  exemplary  in  his  morals,  declaimed  against  vice  with  the 
freedom  and  severity  of  an  Apostle.11 


326  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

man,  political  reformer,  preacher,  innovator  in  theology  and 
translator  of  the  Bible,  he  wrote  extensively.  His  views  show 
progress  in  the  direction  of  opposition  to  the  mediaeval  errors 
and  abuses.  Driven  by  attacks,  he  detected  errors  which,  at 
the  outset,  he  did  not  clearly  discern.  But,  above  all,  his 
study  of  the  Scriptures  forced  upon  him  a  system  which  was 
in  contradiction  to  the  distinctively  mediaeval  system  of  the- 
ology. His  language  in  controversy  was  so  vigorous  that  it 
requires  an  unusual  effort  to  suppress  the  impulse  to  quote  at 
great  length. 

Clear  as  Wyclif's  statements  always  are,  some  of  his  works 
are  drawn  out  by  much  repetition.  Nor  does  he  always  move 
in  a  straight  line,  but  digresses  to  this  side  and  to  that,  taking 
occasion  to  discuss  at  length  subjects  cognate  to  the  main 
matter  he  has  in  hand.  This  habit  often  makes  the  reading 
of  his  larger  works  a  wearisome  task.  Nevertheless,  the  au- 
thor always  brings  the  reader  back  from  his  digression  or,  to 
use  a  modern  expression,  never  leaves  him  sidetracked. 

I.  As  A  SCHOOLMAN.  —  Wyclif  was  beyond  dispute  the 
most  eminent  scholar  who  taught  for  any  length  of  time  at 
Oxford  since  Grosseteste,  whom  he  often  quotes.1  He  was 
read  in  Chrysostom,  Augustine,  Jerome  and  other  Latin 
Fathers,  as  well  as  in  the  mediaeval  theologians  from  Anselin 
to  Duns  Scotus,  Bradwardine,  Fitzralph  and  Henry  of  Ghent. 
His  quotations  are  many,  but  with  increasing  emphasis,  as  the 
years  went  on,  he  made  his  final  appeal  to  the  Scriptures.  He 
was  a  moderate  realist  and  ascribed  to  nominalism  all  theo- 
logical error.  He  seems  to  have  endeavored  to  shun  the  deter- 
minism of  Bradwardine,  and  declared  that  the  doctrine  of 
necessity  does  not  do  away  with  the  freedom  of  the  will,  which 
is  so  free  that  it  cannot  be  compelled.  Necessity  compels  the 
creature  to  will,  that  is,  to  exercise  his  freedom,  but  at  that 
point  he  is  left  free  to  choose.2 

1  Op.  evang.,  p.  17,  etc.,  De  dom.  div.,  p.  215,  etc.,  De  dom.  civ.,  384  sqq., 
where  the  case  of  Frederick  of  Lavagna  is  related  at  length. 

2  Hergenrother,  II.  881,  speaks  of  Wyclif  a  system  as  pantheistic  realism 
and  fatalism,  D.  Lehrsystem  des  Wicliftot  krasaer,  pantheistischer  Realismus, 
Fataliwwt  u.  Predtstianismus. 


§  41.    WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS.  327 

II.  As  A  PATRIOT.  —  In  this  role  the  Oxford  teacher  took 
an  attitude  the  very  reverse  of  the  attitude  assumed  by  An- 
selm  and  Thomas  a  Becket,  who  made  the  English  Church  a 
servant  to  the  pope's  will  in  all  things.  For  loyalty  to  the 
Hildebrandian  theocracy,  Anselm  was  willing  to  suffer  banish- 
ment and  a  Becket  suffered  death.  In  Wyclif,  the  mutter- 
ings  of  the  nation,  which  had  been  heard  against  the  foreign 
regime  from  the  days  of  William  the  Conqueror,  and  especially 
since  King  John's  reign,  found  a  stanch  and  uncompromising 
mouthpiece.  Against  the  whole  system  of  foreign  jurisdiction 
he  raised  his  voice,  as  also  against  the  Church's  claim  to  hold 
lands,  except  as  it  acknowledged  the  rights  of  the  state.  He 
also  opposed  the  tenure  of  secular  offices  by  the  clergy  and, 
when  Archbishop  Sudbury  was  murdered,  declared  that  he 
died  in  sin  because  he  was  holding  the  office  of  chancellor. 

Wyclif  s  views  on  government  in  Church  and  state  are  chiefly 
set  forth  in  the  works  on  Civil  and  Divine  Lordship — De  do- 
minio  divino,  and  De  dominio  civili — and  in  his  Dialogus.1  The 
Divine  Lordship  discusses  the  title  by  which  men  hold  prop- 
erty and  exercise  government,  and  sets  forth  the  distinction  be- 
tween sovereignty  and  stewardship.  Lordship  is  not  properly 
proprietary.  It  is  stewardship.  Christ  did  not  desire  to  rule 
as  a  tenant  with  absolute  rights,  but  in  the  way  of  communicat- 
ing to  others.2  As  to  his  manhood,  he  was  the  most  perfect  of 
servants. 

The  Civil  Lordship  opens  by  declaring  that  no  one  in  mortal 
sin  has  a  right  to  lordship,  and  that  every  one  in  the  state  of 
grace  has  a  real  lordship  over  the  whole  universe.  All  Chris- 
tians are  reciprocally  lords  and  servants.  The  pope,  or  an  ec- 
clesiastical body  abusing  the  property  committed  to  them,  may 
be  deprived  of  it  by  the  state.  Proprietary  right  is  limited  by 
proper  use.  Tithes  are  an  expedient  to  enable  the  priesthood 

1  The  De  dom.  civ.  and  the  De  dom.  div.,  ed.  for  the  Wyclif  Soc.  by  R.  L. 
Poole,  London,  1886,  1800.     See  Poole's  Prefaces  and  his  essay  on  Wyclif's 
Doctrine  of  Lordship  in  his  Illustrations,  etc.,  pp.  282-311.    The  Dialogus,  sive 
speculum  ecclesice  militantis,  ed.  by  A.  W.  Pollard,  1886. 

2  Salvator  noster  noluit  esse  proprietarie  dominant,  sed  communicative, 
p.  204. 


828  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

to  perform  its  mission.  The  New  Testament  does  not  make 
them  a  rule. 

From  the  last  portion  of  the  first  book  of  the  Civil  Lordship, 
Gregory  XI.  drew  most  of  the  articles  for  which  Wyclif  had 
to  stand  trial.  Here  is  found  the  basis  for  the  charge  ascrib- 
ing to  him  the  famous  statement  that  God  ought  to  obey  the 
devil.  By  this  was  meant  nothing  more  than  that  the  juris- 
diction of  every  lawful  proprietor  should  be  recognized. 

III.  As  A  PREACHER.  — Whether  we  regard  Wyclif  s  con- 
stant activity  in  the  pulpit,  or  the  impression  his  sermons  made, 
he  must  be  pronounced  by  far  the  most  notable  of  English 
preachers  prior  to  the  Reformation.1  294  of  his  English  ser- 
mons and  224  of  his  Latin  sermons  have  been  preserved.  To 
these  discourses  must  be  added  his  English  expositions  of  the 
Lord's  prayer,  the  songs  of  the  Bible,  the  seven  deadly  sins 
and  other  subjects.  With  rare  exceptions,  the  sermons  are 
based  upon  passages  of  the  New  Testament. 

The  style  of  the  English  discourses  is  simple  and  direct. 
No  more  plainly  did  Luther  preach  against  ecclesiastical 
abuses  than  did  the  English  Reformer.  On  every  page  are 
joined  with  practical  religious  exposition  stirring  passages  re- 
buking the  pope  and  worldly  prelates.  They  are  denounced  as 
anti-christ  and  the  servants  of  the  devil — the  fiend — as  they 
turn  away  from  the  true  work  of  pasturing  Christ's  flock  for 
worldly  gain  and  enjoyment.  The  preacher  condemns  the 
false  teachings  which  are  nowhere  taught  in  the  Scriptures, 
such  as  pilgrimages  and  indulgences.  Sometimes  Wyclif 
seems  to  be  inconsistent  with  himself,  now  making  light  of 
fasting,  now  asserting  that  the  Apostles  commended  it ;  now 
disparaging  prayers  for  the  dead,  now  affirming  purgatory. 
With  special  severity  do  his  sermons  strike  at  the  friars  who 
preach  out  of  avarice  and  neglect  to  expose  the  sins  of  their 
hearers.  No  one  is  more  idle  than  the  rich  friars,  who  have 
nothing  but  contempt  for  the  poor.  Again  and  again  in  these 
sermons,  as  in  his  other  works,  he  urges  that  the  goods  of  the 

1  Loserth,  Introd.  to  Lat.  sermones,  II.  f  p.  xx,  pronounces  their  effect  ex- 
traordinary. The  Engl.  sermons  have  been  ed.  by  Arnold,  Select  Engl.  Works, 
vote.  I,  II,  and  the  Lat.  sermons  by  Loserth,  in  4  vols. 


§  41.     WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS.  329 

friars  be  seized  and  given  to  the  needy  classes.  Wyclif,  the 
preacher,  was  always  the  bold  champion  of  the  layman's  rights. 

His  work,  The  Pastoral  Office,  which  is  devoted  to  the  du- 
ties of  the  faithful  minister,  and  his  sermons  lay  stress  upon 
preaching  as  the  minister's  proper  duty.  Preaching  he  de- 
clared the  "highest  service,"  even  as  Christ  occupied  himself 
most  in  that  work.  And  if  bishops,  on  whom  the  obligation 
to  preach  more  especially  rests,  preach  not,  but  are  content  to 
have  true  priests  preach  in  their  stead,  they  are  as  those  that 
murder  Jesus.  The  same  authority  which  gave  to  priests 
the  privilege  of  celebrating  the  sacrament  of  the  altar  binds 
them  to  preach.  Yea,  the  preaching  of  the  Word  is  a  more 
precious  occupation  than  the  ministration  of  the  sacraments.1 

When  the  Gospel  was  preached,  as  in  Apostolic  times,  the 
Church  grew.  Above  all  things,  close  attention  should  be 
given  to  Christ's  words,  whose  authority  is  superior  to  all  the 
rites  and  commandments  of  pope  and  friars.  Again  and  again 
^  Wyclif  sets  forth  the  ideal  minister,  as  in  the  following  de- 
scription:— 

"  A  priest  should  live  holily,  in  prayer,  in  desires  and  thought,  in  godly 
conversation  and  honest  teaching,  having  God's  commandments  and  His 
Gospel  ever  on  his  lips.  And  let  his  deeds  be  so  righteous  that  no  man 
may  be  able  with  cause  to  find  fault  with  them,  and  so  open  his  acts  that 
he  may  be  a  true  book  to  all  sinful  and  wicked  men  to  serve  God.  For 
the  example  of  a  good  life  stirreth  men  more  than  true  preaching  with 
only  the  naked  word." 

The  priest's  chief  work  is  to  render  a  substitute  for  Christ's 
miracles  by  converting  himself  and  his  neighbor  to  God's 
law.2  The  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  Wyclif  pronounced  sufficient 
for  the  guidance  of  human  life  apart  from  any  of  the  require- 
ments and  traditions  of  men. 

IV.  As  A  DOCTRINAL  REFORMER. — Wyclif  s  later  writings 
teem  with  denials  of  the  doctrinal  tenets  of  his  age  and  indict- 

1  JSvangelizatto  verbi  est  preciosior  quam  ministratio  alicujus  ecclesiastici 
sacramenti,  Op.  evang.,  I.  375.  Predicatio  verbi  Dei  est  solemnior  quam 
confectio  sacramenti,  De  sac.  «cr.,  II.  156.  See  also  Arnold,  EngL  Works,  III. 
163  sq.,  464  ;  Sertn.  Lat,,  II.  115  ;  De  scr.  sac.,  II.  138. 

9  Debemus  loco  miraculorum  Christi  no*  et  proximo*  ad  legem  Dei  conver- 
tere.  De  ver.,  I.  90 ;  Op.  evang.,  I.  368. 


330  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

ments  against  ecclesiastical  abuses.  There  could  be  no  doubt 
of  his  meaning.  Beginning  with  the  19  errors  Gregory  XI. 
was  able  to  discern,  the  list  grew  as  the  years  went  on.  The 
Council  of  Constance  gave  45,  Netter  of  Walden,  fourscore, 
and  the  Bohemian  John  Liicke,  an  Oxford  doctor  of  divinity, 
266.  Cochlseus,  in  writing  against  the  Hussites,  went  beyond 
all  former  computations  and  ascribed  to  Wyclif  the  plump  sum 
of  303  heresies,  surely  enough  to  have  forever  covered  the  Re- 
former's memory  with  obloquy.  Fuller  suggests  as  the  reason 
for  these  variations  that  some  lists  included  only  the  Reformer's 
primitive  tenets  or  breeders,  and  others  reckoned  all  the  younger 
fry  of  consequence  derived  from  them. 

The  first  three  articles  adduced  by  the  Council  of  Constance l 
had  respect  to  the  Lord's  Supper,  and  charged  Wyclif  with 
holding  that  the  substance  of  the  bread  remains  unchanged 
after  the  consecration,  that  Christ  is  not  in  the  sacrament  of 
the  altar  in  a  real  sense,  and  the  accidents  of  a  thing  cannot 
remain  after  its  substance  is  changed.  The  4th  article  ac- 
cuses him  with  declaring  that  the  acts  of  bishop  or  priest  in 
baptizing,  ordaining  and  consecrating  are  void  if  the  celebrant 
be  in  a  state  of  mortal  sin.  Then  follow  charges  of  other  al- 
leged heresies,  such  as  that  after  Urban  VI.  the  papacy  should 
be  abolished,  the  clergy  should  hold  no  temporal  possessions, 
the  friars  should  gain  their  living  by  manual  toil  and  not 
by  begging,  Sylvester  and  Constantine  erred  in  endowing  the 
Church,  the  papal  elections  by  the  cardinals  were  an  invention 
of  the  devil,  it  is  not  necessary  to  salvation  that  one  believe 
the  Roman  church  to  be  supreme  amongst  the  churches  and 
that  all  the  religious  orders  were  introduced  by  the  devil. 

The  most  of  the  45  propositions  represent  Wyclif's  views 
with  precision.  They  lie  on  the  surface  of  his  later  writings, 
but  they  do  not  exhaust  his  dissent  from  the  teachings  and 
practice  of  his  time.  His  assault  may  be  summarized  under 
five  heads :  the  nature  of  the  Church,  the  papacy,  the  priest- 
hood, the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation  and  the  use  of  the 
Scriptures. 

The  Church  was  defined  in  the  Civil  Lordship  to  be  the 
1  See  Mansi,  XX  VII. ,  632-636,  and  Mirbt,  p.  157  aq. 


§  41.    WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS.  381 

body  of  the  elect, — living,  dead  and  not  yet  born,  —  whose  head 
is  Christ.  Scarcely  a  writing  has  come  down  to  us  from 
Wyclif  s  pen  in  which  he  does  not  treat  the  subject,  and  in 
his  special  treatise  on  the  Church,  written  probably  in  1378, 
it  is  defined  more  briefly  as  the  body  of  all  the  elect  —  con- 
gregatio  omnium  predestinatorum.  Of  this  body,  Christ  alone 
is  the  head.  The  pope  is  the  head  of  a  local  church.  Stress 
is  laid  upon  the  divine  decree  as  determining  who  are  the  pre- 
destinate and  who  the  reprobate.1 

Some  persons,  he  said,  in  speaking  of  "  Holy  Church,  un- 
derstand thereby  prelates  and  priests,  monks  and  canons  and 
friars  and  all  that  have  the  tonsure, — alle  men  that  han  crownes, 
—  though  they  live  ever  so  accursedly  in  defiance  of  God's 
law."  But  so  far  from  this  being  true,  all  popes,  cardinals  and 
priests  are  not  among  the  saved.  On  the  contrary,  not  even  a 
pope  can  tell  assuredly  that  he  is  predestinate.  This  knows  no 
one  on  earth.  The  pope  may  be  a  prescitus,  a  reprobate.  Such 
popes  there  have  been,  and  it  is  blasphemy  for  cardinals  and 
pontiffs  to  think  that  their  election  to  office  of  itself  constitutes 
a  title  to  the  primacy  of  the  Church.  The  curia  is  a  nest  of  here- 
tics if  its  members  do  not  follow  Christ,  a  fountain  of  poison, 
the  abomination  of  desolation  spoken  of  in  the  sacred  page. 
Gregory  XI.  Wyclif  called  a  terrible  devil — horrendusdiabolus. 
God  in  His  mercy  had  put  him  to  death  and  dispersed  his  con- 
federates, whose  crimes  Urban  VI.  had  revealed.2 

Though  the  English  Reformer  never  used  the  terms  visible 
and  invisible  Church,  he  made  the  distinction.  The  Church 
militant,  he  said, commenting  on  John  10  :  26,  is  a  mixed  body. 
The  Apostles  took  two  kinds  of  fishes,  some  of  which  remained 
in  the  net  and  some  broke  away.  So  in  the  Church  some  are 
ordained  to  bliss  and  some  to  pain,  even  though  they  live  godly 
for  a  while.8  It  is  significant  that  in  his  English  writings 
Wyclif  uses  the  term  Christen  men  —  Christian  men — in- 
stead of  the  term  the  faithful. 

1  Dt  dom.  civ.,  I.  858.  Ecclesia  cath.  five  apost.  est  universitas  predcstinato- 
rum.  De  eccles.,  ed.  by  Loserth,  pp.  2,  5,  31,  94,  Engl.  Works,  III.  839,  447, 
etc.  »  De  cedes.,  5,  28  sq.,  63,  88,  89,  355,  858,  860. 

8  Engl.  Works.,  I.  50. 


882  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.   1294-1617. 

As  for  the  papacy,  no  one  has  used  more  stinging  words  against 
individual  popes  as  well  as  against  the  papacy  as  an  institution 
than  did  Wyclif.  In  the  treatises  of  his  last  years  and  in  his 
sermons,  the  pope  is  stigmatized  as  anti-christ.  His  very  last 
work,  on  which  he  was  engaged  when  death  overtook  him,  bore 
the  title,  Anti-christ,  meaning  the  pope.  He  went  so  far  as  to 
call  him  the  head- vicar  of  the  fiend. l  He  saw  in  the  papacy  the 
revelation  of  the  man  of  sin.  The  office  is  wholly  poisonous 
—  totumpapale  officium  venenosum.  He  heaped  ridicule  upon 
the  address  "  most  holie  fadir."  The  pope  is  neither  necessary 
to  the  Church  nor  is  he  infallible.  If  both  popes  and  all  their 
cardinals  were  cast  into  hell,  believers  could  be  saved  as  well 
without  them.  They  were  created  not  by  Christ  but  by  the 
devil.  The  pope  has  no  exclusive  right  to  declare  what  the 
Scriptures  teach,  or  proclaim  what  is  the  supreme  law.  His  ab- 
solutions are  of  no  avail  unless  Christ  has  absolved  before.  Popes 
have  no  more  right  to  excommunicate  than  devils  have  to  curse. 
Many  of  them  are  damned — multipap&sunt  dampnati.  Strong 
as  such  assertions  are,  it  is  probable  that  Wyclif  did  not  mean 
to  cast  aside  the  papacy  altogether.  But  again  and  again  the 
principle  is  stated  that  the  Apostolic  see  is  to  be  obeyed  only  so 
far  as  it  follows  Christ's  law.2 

As  for  the  interpretation  of  Matthew  16  :  18,  Wyclif  took 
the  view  that "  the  rock  "  stands  for  Peter  and  every  true  Chris- 
tian. The  keys  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven  are  not  metal  keys, 
as  popularly  supposed,  but  spiritual  power,  and  they  were  com- 
mitted not  only  to  Peter,  but  to  all  the  saints,  "  for  alle  men 

1  The  condemnatory  epithets  and  characterizations  are  found  in  the  Engl. 
Works,  ed.  by  Matthew,  Depapa,  pp.  468-487,  and  The  Church  andher  Members, 
and  The  Schism  of  the  Bom.  Pontiffs,  Arnold's  ed.,  III.  262  sqq.,  340  sqq., 
the  Trialogus,  Dialogue,  the  Latin  Sermons,  vol.  II.,  and  especially  the  Opus 
evangehcum,  parts  of  which  went  under  the  name  Christ  and  his  Adversary, 
Antichrist.  See  Loserth's  introductions  to  Lat.  Serm.,  II.  p.  ivsq.,  and  Op. 
evang.,  vol.  II. ;  also  his  art.  Wiclifs  Lehre,  vom  wahren,  undfalschen  Papst- 
tum,  Hist.  Ztschrift,  1907,  and  his  ed.  otiheDepotestatepapce.  In  these  last 
works  Loserth  presents  the  somewhat  modified  view  that  when  Wyclif  in- 
veighed against  the  papacy  it  was  only  as  it  was  abused.  The  De  potestate 
was  written  perhaps  in  1379.  His  later  works  show  an  increased  severity. 

a  Lat.  Serm.,  IV.  95 ;  De  dom.  civ.,  866-894 ;  De  ver.  scr.,  II.  66 sqq. ;  Dial., 
p.  26  ;  Op.  evang.,  I.  38,  92,  98, 882,  414,  II.  182,  IIL  187  ;  Engl.  Works,  II. 
229  sq.,  etc. 


§  41.    WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS.  333 

that  comen  to  hevene  have  these  keies  of  God. " 1  Towards  the 
pope's  pretension  to  political  functions,  Wyclif  was,  if  possible, 
more  unsparing.  Christ  paid  tribute  to  Caesar.  So  should 
the  pope.  His  deposition  of  kings  is  the  tyranny  of  the  devil. 
By  disregarding  Peter's  injunction  not  to  lord  it  over  God's 
heritage,  but  to  feed  the  flock,  he  and  all  his  sect  —  tot  a  secta 
—  prove  themselves  hardened  heretics. 

Constantine's  donation,  the  Reformer  pronounced  the  begin- 
ning of  all  evils  in  the  Church.  The  emperor  was  put  up  to 
it  by  the  devil.  It  was  his  new  trick  to  have  the  Church  en- 
dowed.2 Chapter  after  chapter  of  the  treatise  on  the  Church 
calls  upon  the  pope,  prelates  and  priests  to  return  to  the  exer- 
cise of  spiritual  functions.  They  had  become  the  prelates  and 
priests  of  Caesar.  As  the  Church  left  Christ  to  follow  Caesar, 
so  now  it  should  abandon  Caesar  for  Christ.  As  for  kissing 
the  pope's  toe,  there  is  no  foundation  for  it  in  Scripture  or 
reason. 

The  pope's  practice  of  getting  money  by  tribute  and  taxa- 
tion calls  forth  biting  invective.  It  was  the  custom,  Wyclif 
said,  to  solemnly  curse  in  the  parish  churches  all  who  clipped 
the  king's  coins  and  cut  men's  purses.  From  this  it  would 
seem,  he  continued, 

that  the  proud  and  worldly  priest  of  Rome  and  all  his  advisers  were  the 
most  cursed  of  clippers  and  cut-purses,  —  cursed  of  clipperis  and  purse-ker- 
veris, — for  they  drew  out  of  England  poor  men's  livelihoods  and  many  thou- 
sands of  marks  of  the  king's  money,  and  this  they  did  for  spiritual  favors. 
If  the  realm  had  a  huge  hill  of  gold,  it  would  soon  all  be  spent  by  this 
proud  and  worldly  priest-collector.  Of  all  men,  Christ  was  the  most  poor, 
both  in  spirit  and  in  goods,  and  put  from  him  all  manner  of  worldly  lord- 
ship. The  pope  should  leave  his  authority  to  worldly  lords,  and  speedily 
advise  his  clergy  to  do  the  same.  I  take  it,  as  a  matter  of  faith,  that  no 
man  should  follow  the  pope,  nor  even  any  of  the  saints  in  heaven,  except 
as  they  follow  Christ.8 

The  priests  and  friars  formed  another  subject  of  Wyclif's 
vigorous  attack.  Clerics  who  follow  Christ  are  true  priests  and 

1  Op.  cvanff.,  II.  105  sq. ;  Engl.  Works,  I.  360  sq. 

2  De  ver.j  I.  267  ;  Engl  Works,  III.  341  sq. ;  De  Eccles.,  189,  365  sqq.  ;  Op. 
Evang.,  III.  188. 

8  Engl.  Works,  III.  320.  Letter  to  Urban  VI.,  Fasc.  ziz.,  p.  341 ;  Engl. 
Works,  III.  604-606. 


334  THE  MIDDLE   AGES.      A.D.    1294-1517. 

none  other.  The  efficacy  of  their  acts  of  absolution  of  sins 
depends  upon  their  own  previous  absolution  by  Christ.  The 
priest's  function  is  to  show  forgiveness,  already  pronounced  by 
God,  not  to  impart  it.  It  was,  he  affirmed,  a  strange  and  mar- 
vellous thing  that  prelates  and  curates  should  "curse  so  faste," 
when  Christ  said  we  should  bless  rather  than  reprove.  A  sen- 
tence of  excommunication  is  worse  than  murder. 

The  rule  of  auricular  confession  Wyclif  also  disparaged. 
True  contrition  of  heart  is  sufficient  for  the  removal  of  sins. 
In  Christ's  time  confession  of  man  to  man  was  not  required. 
In  his  own  day,  he  said, "  shrift  to  God  is  put  behind;  but  privy 
(private)  shrift,  a  new-found  thing,  is  authorized  as  needful  for 
the  soul's  health."  He  set  forth  the  dangers  of  the  confes- 
sional, such  as  the  unchastity  of  priests.  He  also  spoke  of  the 
evils  of  pilgrimages  when  women  and  men  going  together 
promiscuously  were  in  temptation  of  great "  lecherie." l  Cleri- 
cal celibacy,  a  subject  the  Reformer  seldom  touched  upon,  he 
declared,  when  enforced,  is  against  Scripture,  and  as  under  the 
old  law  priests  were  allowed  to  marry,  so  under  the  new  the 
practice  is  never  forbidden,  but  rather  approved. 

Straight  truth-telling  never  had  a  warmer  champion  than 
Wyclif.  Addressing  the  clergy,  he  devotes  nearly  a  hundred 
pages  of  his  Truth  of  Scripture  to  an  elaboration  of  this  prin- 
ciple. Not  even  the  most  trifling  sin  is  permissible  as  a  means 
of  averting  a  greater  evil,  either  for  oneself  or  one's  neighbor. 
Under  no  circumstances  does  a  good  intention  justify  a  false- 
hood. The  pope  himself  has  no  right  to  tolerate  or  practice 
misrepresentation  to  advance  a  good  cause.  To  accomplish  a 
good  end,  the  priest  dare  not  even  make  a  false  appeal  to  fear. 
All  lying  is  of  itself  sin,  and  no  dispensation  can  change  its 
character.2 

The  friars  called  forth  the  Reformer's  keenest  thrusts,  and 
these  increased  in  sharpness  as  he  neared  the  end  of  his  life. 

1  His  De  eucharistia  et  panitentia  sive  de  confessione  elaborates  this  sub- 
ject.   See  also  Engl.  Works,  I.  80,  III.  141,  348,  461. 

2  De  eccles. ,  p.  162 ;  De  ver.  scr. ,  II.  1-99.    Omne  mendatium  est  per  Be  peo- 
catum  sed  nulla  circumstantia  potest  recttycare,  ut  peccatum  sit  non  pecca- 
tum, De  wr.,  II.  61. 


§  41.    WYCLIF'S  TEACHINGS.  835 

Quotations,  bearing  on  their  vices,  would  fill  a  large  volume. 
Entire  treatises  against  their  heresies  and  practices  issued  from 
his  pen.  They  were  slavish  agents  of  the  pope's  will ;  they 
spread  false  views  of  the  eucharist ;  they  made  merchandise  of 
indulgences  and  letters  of  fraternity  which  pretended  to  give 
the  purchasers  a  share  in  their  own  good  deeds  here  and  at  the 
final  accounting.  Their  lips  were  full  of  lies  and  their  hands  of 
blood.  They  entered  houses  and  led  women  astray ;  they  lived 
in  idleness  ;  they  devoured  England.1 

The  Reformer  had  also  a  strong  word  to  say  on  the  delusion 
of  the  contemplative  life  as  usually  practised.  It  was  the  guile 
of  Satan  that  led  men  to  imagine  their  fancies  and  dreamings 
were  religious  contemplation  and  to  make  them  an  excuse  for 
sloth.  John  the  Baptist  and  Christ  both  left  the  desert  to  live 
among  men.  He  also  went  so  far  as  to  demand  that  monks  be 
granted  the  privilege  of  renouncing  the  monkish  rule  for  some 
other  condition  where  they  might  be  useful.2 

The  four  mendicant  orders,  the  Carmelites,  Augustinians, 
Jacobites  or  Dominicans,  and  Minorites  or  Franciscans  gave 
their  first  letters  to  the  word  Cairn,  showing  their  descent  from 
the  first  murderer.  Their  convents,  Wyclif  called  Cain's  cas- 
tles. His  relentless  indignation  denounced  them  as  the  tail  of 
the  dragon,  ravening  wolves,  the  sons  of  Satan,  the  emissaries 
of  anti-christ  and  Luciferians  and  pronounced  them  worse 
than  Herod,  Saul  arid  Judas.  The  friars  repeat  that  Christ 
begged  water  at  the  well.  It  were  to  their  praise  if  they  begged 
water  and  nothing  else.8 

With  the  lighter  hand  of  ridicule,  Chaucer  also  held  up  the 
mendicants  for  indictment.  In  the  Prologue  to  his  Canterbury 
Tales  he  represents  the  friar  as  an  — 

.  .  .  easy  man  to  yeve  penaunce, 
Ther  as  he  wiste  to  have  a  good  pitaunce 
For  unto  a  powre  order  for  to  give 
Is  signe  that  a  man  is  well  y-shrive. 


1  Engl.  Works,  III.  420  sqq. ;  Op.  evang.,  II.  40;  Lat.  serm.,  TV.  62, 121,  etc. 

a  See  the  tract  Of  Feigned  Contemplative  Life  in  Matthew,  pp.  187,  196 ; 
De  eccles.,  p.  880;  Lat.  Serm.,  II.  112. 

8  Lat.  serm.,  II.  84;  Trial,  IV.  38 ;  Engl.  Works,  III.  348;  Dial.,  pp.  13, 66, 
etc. 


336  THE  MIDDLE  AGES.      A.D.    1294-1617. 

His  wallet  lay  biforn  him  in  his  lappe 
Bretful  of  pardoim  come  from  Rome  all  hoot, 
A  voys  he  hadde  as  smal  as  hath  a  goot 
Ne  was  ther  swich  another  pardonour 
For  in  his  male  he  hadde  a  pilwe-beer  [pillow] 
Which  that,  he  seyde,  was  our  Lady's  veyl : 
And  in  a  glas  he  hadde  a  pigges  bones. . 

—  SKEAT'B  ed.,  4 :  7,  21. 

If  it  required  boldness  to  attack  the  powerful  body  of  the 
monks,  it  required  equal  boldness  to  attack  the  mediaeval  dogma 
of  transubstantiation.  Wyclif  himself  called  it  a  doctrine  of 
the  moderns  and  of  the  recentChurch — novella  ecclesia.  In  his 
treatise  on  the  eucharist,  he  praised  God  that  he  had  been  de- 
livered from  its  laughable  and  scandalous  errors.1  The  dogma  of 
the  transmutation  of  the  elements  he  pronounced  idolatry,  a 
lying  fable.  His  own  view  is  that  of  the  spiritual  presence. 
Christ's  body,  so  far  as  its  dimensions  are  concerned,  is  in 
heaven.  It  is  efficaciously  or  virtually  in  the  host  as  in  a  sym- 
bol.2 This  symbol "  represents  "  —  vicarius  est — the  body. 

Neither  by  way  of  impanation  nor  of  identification,  much 
less  by  way  of  transmutation,  is  the  body  in  the  host.  Christ 
is  in  the  bread  as  a  king  is  in  all  parts  of  his  dominions  and  as 
the  soul  is  in  the  body.  In  the  breaking  of  the  bread,  the  body 
is  no  more  broken  than  the  sunbeam  is  broken  when  a  piece  of 
glass  is  shattered  :  Christ  is  there  sacramentally,  spiritually, 
efficiently  —  aacramentaliter,  tpiritualiter  et  virtualiter.  Tran- 
substantiation  is  the  greatest  of  all  heresies  and  subversive  of 
logic,  grammar  and  all  natural  science.8 

The  famous  controversy  as  to  whether  a  mouse,  partaking 
of  the  sacramental  elements,  really  partakes  of  Christ's  body  is 
discussed  in  the  first  pages  of  the  treatise  on  the  eucharist. 
Wyclif  pronounces  the  primary  assumption  false,  for  Christ  is 
not  there  in  a  corporal  manner.  An  animal,  in  eating  a  man, 

1  Ab  isto  acandaloso  et  derisibili  errore  de  quidditate  hujus  sacramenti,  pp. 
52, 199. 

3  Corpus  Chr.  eat  dimensionaliter  in  cceZo  et  virtualiter  in  hostia  ut  in  signo. 
De  euchar.,  pp.  271, 303.  Walden,  Fasc.  ziz.,  rightly  represents  Wyclif  as  hold- 
ing that  "  the  host  Is  neither  Christ  nor  any  part  of  Christ,  but  the  effectual 
sign  of  him."  »  De  euchar.,  p.  11;  Trial.,  pp.  248,  261. 


§  41.  '    WYCLIP'S  TEACHINGS.  337 

does  not  eat  his  soul.  The  opinion  that  the  priest  actually  breaks 
Christ's  body  and  so  breaks  his  neck,  arms  and  other  mem- 
bers, is  a  shocking  error.  What  could  be  more  shocking,  — 
horribiliu*,  —  he  says,  than  that  the  priest  should  daily  make 
and  consecrate  the  Lord's  body,  and  what  more  shocking  than 
to  be  obliged  to  eat  Christ's  very  flesh  and  drink  his  very  blood. 
Yea,  what  could  be  thought  of  more  shocking  than  that  Christ's 
body  may  be  burned  or  eructated,  or  that  the  priest  carries  God 
in  bodily  form  on  the  tips  of  his  fingers.  The  words  of  insti- 
tution are  to  be  taken  in  a  figurative  sense.  In  a  similar  man- 
ner, the  Lord  spoke  of  himself  as  the  seed  and  of  the  world  as 
the  field,  and  called  John,  Elijah,  not  meaning  that  the  two  were 
one  person.  In  saying,  I  am  the  vine,  he  meant  that  the  vine 
is